Swallowing Time Quotes

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You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.
Aristotle (The Nicomachean Ethics)
Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?
D.T. Suzuki (Zen and Japanese Culture)
Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up; I forget them almost immediately.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.
Colleen Hoover (Verity)
When you stand out there," John continues in a hoarse voice, "keep your chin up, all right? Don't let them get to you." "I won't." "Make them work for it. Punch someone if you have to." John gives me a sad, crooked smile. "You're a scary kid. So scare them. Okay? All the way until the end." For the first time in a long time, I feel like a little brother. I have to swallow hard to keep my eyes dry. "Okay," I whisper.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
Audre Lorde
Take a drink every time you hear you’re not enough. Not the right fit. Not the right look. Not the right focus. Not the right drive. Not the right time. Not the right job. Not the right path. Not the right future. Not the right present. Not the right you. Not you. (Not me?) There’s just something missing. From us. What could I have done? Nothing. It’s just… (Who you are.) I didn’t think we were serious. (You’re just too… …sweet. …soft. …sensitive.) I just don’t see us ending up together. I met someone. I’m sorry It’s not you. Swallow it down. We’re not on the same page. We’re not in the same place. It’s not you. We can’t help who we fall in love with. (And who we don’t.) You’re such a good friend. You’re going to make the right girl happy. You deserve better. Let’s stay friends. I don’t want to lose you. It’s not you. I’m sorry.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIS ANGER; HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ANGER. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Music? Music is life! It’s physical emotion - you can touch it! It’s neon ecto-energy sucked out of spirits and switched into sound waves for your ears to swallow. Are you telling me, what, that it’s boring? You don’t have time for it?
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
All the ideas in the universe can be described by words. Therefore, if you simply take all the words and rearrange them randomly enough times, you’re bound to hit upon at least a few great ideas eventually. Sausage donkey swallows flying guillotine, my love assembly line.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
Or is it your reputation that's bothering you? But look at how soon we're all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of those applauding hands. The people who praise us; how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region it takes place. The whole earth a point in space - and most of it uninhabited.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
You're a poem?' I repeated. She chewed her lower lip. 'If you want. I am a poem, or I am a pattern, or a race of people whose whose world was swallowed by the sea.' 'Isn't it hard to be three things at the same time?' 'What's your name?' 'Enn.' 'So you are Enn,' she said. 'And you are a male. And you are a biped. Is it hard to be three things at the same time?
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
I placed my face so close to his that his features became indistict, and I began to lose myself in them. I stroked his hair, his skin, his brow, with my fingertips, tears sliding unchecked down my cheeks, my nose against his, and all the time he watched me silently, studying me intently as if he were storing each molecule of me away. He was already retreating withdrawing to somewhere I couldn't reach him. I kissed him, trying to bring him back. I kissed him and let my lips rest against his so that our breath mingled and the tears from my eyes became salt on his skin, and I told myself that, somewhere, tiny particles of him would become tiny particles of me, ingested, swallowed, alive perpetual. I wanted to press every bit of me against him. I wanted to will something into him. I wanted to give him every bit of life I felt and force him to life. I held him, Will Traynor ex-City whiz kid, ex-stunt diver, sportsman, traveller, lover. I held him close and said nothing, all the while telling him silently that he was loved. Oh, but he was loved.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
What does that mean? Making out?" Galen says between bites. Emma puts her fork down. "It means, Galen, that you'll need to force yourself to kiss me. Like you mean it. For a long time. Think you can do that? Do Syrena kiss?" He tries to swallow the bite he forgot to chew. Force myself? I'll be lucky if I can stop myself.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow the world.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
Being with Anna is easy. She's the one." The one. It stops my heart. I thought Max was the one, but... there's that other one. The first one. "Do you believe in that?" I ask quietly. "In one person for everyone?" Something changes in St Clair's eyes. Maybe sadness. "I can't speak for anyone but myself," he says. "But, for me, yes. I have to be with Anna. But this is something you have to figure out on your own. I can't answer that for you, no one can." "Oh." "Lola." He rolls his chair over to my side. "I know things are shite right now. And in the name of friendship and full disclosure, I went through something similar last year. When I met Anna, I was with someone else. And it took a long time before I found the courage to do the hard thing. But you have to do the hard thing." I swallow. "And what's the hard thing?" "You have to be honest with yourself.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
You destroy me." "Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death. "I want you," he says. He says "I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you." He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says "It's never been a secret. I've never tried to hide that from you. I've never pretended I wanted anything less." "You-you said you wanted f-friendship-" "Yes," he says, he swallows, "I did. I do. I do want to be your friend. He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. "I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-" "No," I gasp. "Don't-don't s-say that-" "I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world." "I want so many things," he whispers. "I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time." His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says "I want this up." He tugs on the waist of my pants and says "I want these down." He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, "I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it's racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never," he says, he breathes, "never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it." And I drop dead, all over the floor. "Juliette." I can't understand why I can still hear him speaking because I'm dead, I'm already dead, I've died over and over and over again. He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says "I'm so-I'm so desperately in love with you-
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
If I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears. Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn't, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn't tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they'd never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness. The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn't fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.
Jodi Picoult
Todo te lo tragaste, como la lejania, como el mar, como el tiempo... Ese fue mi destino y en el viajo mi anhelo, y en el mi anhelo, todo en ti fue naufragio! (You swallowed everything, like distance, like the sea, like time. This was my destiny and it was the voyage of my longing, in it my longing fell, in you everything sank.)
Pablo Neruda
Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time; as aromatic wine it seemed, on swallowing, warm and racy: its after-flavour, metallic and corroding, gave me a sensation as if I had been poisoned.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
As time goes by, as time goes by, the whip-crack of the years, the precipice of illusions, the ravine that swallows up all human endeavour except the struggle to survive.
Roberto Bolaño (By Night in Chile)
His breath caught, harsh enough that she looked over her shoulder. But his eyes weren't on her face. Or the water. They were on her bare back. Curled as she was against her knees, he could see the whole expanse of ruined flesh, each scar from the lashing. "Who did that to you?" It would have been easy to lie, but she was so tired, and he had saved her useless hide. So she said, "A lot of people. I spent some time in the Salt Mines of Endovier." He was so still that she wondered if he'd stopped breathing. "How long?" he asked after a moment. She braced herself for the pity, but his face was so carefully blank-no, not blank. Calm with lethal rage. "A year. I was there a year before... it's a long story." She was too exhausted, her throat too raw, to say the rest of it. She noticed then his arms were bandaged, and more bandages across his broad chest peeked up from beneath his shirt. She'd burned him again. And yet he had held her- had run all the way here and not let go once. "You were a slave." She gave him a slow nod. He opened his mouth, but shut it and swallowed, that lethal rage winking out. As if he remembered who he was talking to and that it was the least punishment she deserved. He turned on his heel and shut the door behind him. She wished he'd slammed it-wished he'd shattered it. But he closed it with barely more than a click and did not return.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Most of the time, because of their failure to fasten on to words, my thoughts remain misty and nebulous. They assume vague, amusing shapes and are then swallowed up: I promptly forget them.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Swallow Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them 'til they've time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, 'til the hour. You won't speak and you won't tell, you won't call on heav'n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive.
Amy Harmon (The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, #1))
She carried a knife inside of herself now, one that was always cutting her. She could feel it every time she swallowed, every time her thoughts strayed from the splendor of the wild.
Scott Westerfeld (Specials (Uglies, #3))
Mirror I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike. I am not cruel, only truthful- The eye of the little god, four cornered. Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers. Faces and darkness separate us over and over. Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me, Searching my reaches for what she really is. Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon. I see her back, and reflect it faithfully. She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I am important to her. She comes and goes. Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness. In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. --written 1960
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Don’t fuss. I love you just as you are, Mercy. I don’t need to swallow you whole, I don’t need to be in your head at all times. I just need to know that you’re there.
Patricia Briggs (Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7))
I think time really is a medicine but, sometimes, it’s hard to know how to swallow that medicine
Kim Jonghyun
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?” “Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says. “Your father? Why?” I ask. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says. “What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim. “No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’” “That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says. “Oh, please,” I say, laughing. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” “Without success,” I add. “Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? “You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Most info-Web-media-newspaper types have a hard time swallowing the idea that knowledge is reached (mostly) by removing junk from peoples heads
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Your hurt swallows ine, like space swallows time, and the two intertwine. We tangle together.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
English is the largest of human tongues, with several times the vocabulary of the second largest language -- this alone made it inevitable that English would eventually become, as it did, the lingua franca of this planet, for it is thereby the richest and most flexible -- despite its barbaric accretions . . . or, I should say, because of its barbaric accretions. English swallows up anything that comes its way, makes English out of it.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
When someone hurts you time and time again, accept the fact that they don't care about you. Its a tough pill to swallow, but its necessary medicine.
Melchor Lim
Teccam explains there are two types of secrets. There are secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart. Most secrets are secrets of the mouth. Gossip shared and small scandals whispered. There secrets long to be let loose upon the world. A secret of the mouth is like a stone in your boot. At first you’re barely aware of it. Then it grows irritating, then intolerable. Secrets of the mouth grow larger the longer you keep them, swelling until they press against your lips. They fight to be let free. Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart, and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become. Teccam claims it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart. Any fool will spit out poison, he says, but we hoard these painful treasures. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. They they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
This is beautiful," I said, ignoring the shop window to trace the gleaming stone walls fronting another boutique. "You know what's funny?" Jacob asked. He didn't wait for my answer. "You can see beauty in everything, except for yourself." *** I swallowed hard. Erik thought my body was beautiful, Karin that it was enviable. At random times, people had noted that my hands were beautiful, or my hair. The Twisted Sisters had called my art beautiful. Mom had the best intentions and always told me before and after my laser surgeries that I would be beautiful. But no one had ever said that I was beautiful, all my parts taken together, not just the bits and pieces.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each "I", everyone of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
Maybe I'd never see him again... maybe he'd gone for good... swallowed up, body and soul, in the kind of stories you hear about... Ah, it's an awful thing... and being young doesn't help any... when you notice for the first time... the way you lose people as you go along ... the buddies you'll never see again... never again... when you notice that they've disappeared like dreams... that it's all over... finished... that you too will get lost someday... a long way off but inevitably... in the awful torrent of things and people... of the days and shapes... that pass... that never stop...
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Death on the Installment Plan)
I could watch him do this until morning — never asking questions and never interrupting his work. I worship quietly — his intense focus and attention to detail and then, out of no where, I realize the inconvenient, inappropriate truth: ‘I love this man… and it has swallowed me.
Jennifer Elisabeth
Secrets of the heart. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. There they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
ONCE UPON A time, there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. He loved each of them dearly. One day, when the young ladies were of age to be married, a terrible, three-headed dragon laid siege to the kingdom, burning villages with fiery breath. It spoiled crops and burned churches. It killed babies, old people, and everyone in between. The king promised a princess’s hand in marriage to whoever slayed the dragon. Heroes and warriors came in suits of armor, riding brave horses and bearing swords and arrows. One by one, these men were slaughtered and eaten. Finally the king reasoned that a maiden might melt the dragon’s heart and succeed where warriors had failed. He sent his eldest daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, but the dragon listened to not a word of her pleas. It swallowed her whole. Then the king sent his second daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, but the dragon did the same. Swallowed her before she could get a word out. The king then sent his youngest daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, and she was so lovely and clever that he was sure she would succeed where the others had perished. No indeed. The dragon simply ate her. The king was left aching with regret. He was now alone in the world. Now, let me ask you this. Who killed the girls? The dragon? Or their father?
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
He took a bite, swallowed. "God. If asparagus tasted like that all the time, I'd be vegetarian, too." Some people in a lacquered wooden boat approached us on the canal below. One of them, a woman with curly blond hair, maybe thirty, drank from a beer then raised her glass towards us and shouted something. "We don't speak Dutch," Gus shouted back. One of the others shouted a translation: "The beautiful couple is beautiful.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Unfortunately I am afraid, as always, of going on. For to go on means going from here, means finding me, losing me, vanishing and beginning again, a stranger first, then little by little the same as always, in another place, where I shall say I have always been, of which I shall know nothing, being incapable of seeing, moving, thinking, speaking, but of which little by little, in spite of these handicaps, I shall begin to know something, just enough for it to turn out to be the same place as always, the same which seems made for me and does not want me, which I seem to want and do not want, take your choice, which spews me out or swallows me up, I’ll never know, which is perhaps merely the inside of my distant skull where once I wandered, now am fixed, lost for tininess, or straining against the walls, with my head, my hands, my feet, my back, and ever murmuring my old stories, my old story, as if it were the first time.
Samuel Beckett (The Unnamable)
That girl,' tutted Alsana as her front door slammed, 'swallowed an encyclopedia and a gutter at the same time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute - like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
There are times like that, Bailey. Times you don't think you can take it anymore. But then you discover that you can. You always do. You're tough. You'll take a deep breath, swallow just a little bit more, endure just a little longer, and eventually you'll get your second wind,
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
It's okay to be absurd, ridiculous, and downright irrational at times; silliness is sweet syrup that helps us swallow the bitter pills of life.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.
Ali Smith (The Whole Story and Other Stories)
I always wondered why survivors understood other survivors so well. Why, even if the details of our attacks vary, survivors can lock eyes and get it without having to explain. Perhaps it is not the particulars of the assault itself that we have in common, but the moment after; the first time you are left alone. Something slipping out of you. Where did I go. What was taken. It is terror swallowed inside silence. An unclipping from the world where up was up and down was down.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
I thought about suicide all the time, but it seemed toomuch effort, swallowing all those pills or jumping off things. If I'd lived out in the country I would have found a quiet stretch of railway track, and lain on it, fallen asleep, so that I would never have known when my last moment came. In London, the minimum tube fare had gone up so much that even to get near the line cost a fortune. Suicide seemed an extravagance I couldn't afford. People never leave you alone, either; I knew that if I'd tried to lie down on the line, any number of commuters would have pulled me off again, so that I didn't delay their train. There must have been murderers out there who wanted to kill, with no way of finding those who wanted to be dead. If there had been some way of contacting them, a date-with-death line, I would have called them to set up a meeting. The current ways of death seemed too haphazard; it was all left up to chance. Had Chance come up, tapped me on the shoulder, said "Oi, you - long black tunnel, white light, off you go," I wouldn't have complained. It was like having frostbite all over - feeling numb and in pain at the same time.
Helena Dela (The Count)
I can't - Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize - my prize - it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won't harm you, I swear that he won't, but you must...hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you're not better off dead. Swallow your pride." "Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you." He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?" "Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else." He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
But it's strange, isn't it?" Eri said. "What is?" "That amazing time in our lives is gone, and will never return. All the beautiful possibilities we had then have been swallowed up in the flow of time.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
I swallowed darkness, and darkness swallowed me. Without light, without the beat if a heart to count the time, you learn that eternity is nothing fear. In fact, if they'd just leave you to it, an eternity alone in the dark can be a welcome alternative to the business of living.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1))
Do your time before it does you.
Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe: The International Bestseller)
Good morning," said the little prince. Good morning," said the merchant. This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst. You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need for anything to drink. Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince. Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week." And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?" Anything you like..." As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
The pain feels like a hole swallowing her up, a source of intense fear and yet, at the same time, a strange, quiet peace.
Han Kang (The Vegetarian)
Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.
George Carlin
When I consider the brief span of my life absorbed into the eternity which precedes and will succeed it—memoria hospitis unius diei praetereuntis (remembrance of a guest who tarried but a day)—the small space I occupy and which I see swallowed up in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me, I take fright and am amazed to see myself here rather than there: there is no reason for me to be here rather than there, now rather than then. Who put me here? By whose command and act were this place and time allotted to me?
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
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 flames everywhere. 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 darkness, 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 unnatural light, 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 river water. 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 these luxuries. 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.
Richard Siken
There are times when it's easier to fool yourself than swallow some jagged piece of reality.
John Searles (Help for the Haunted)
Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.
Jessica Khoury (The Forbidden Wish)
It took me years to learn to sit at my desk for more than two minutes at a time, to put up with the solitude and the terror of failure, and the godawful silence and the white paper. And now that I can take it . . . now that I can finally do it . . . I'm really raring to go. I was in my study writing. I was learning how to go down into myself and salvage bits and pieces of the past. I was learning how to sneak up on the unconscious and how to catch my seemingly random thoughts and fantasies. By closing me out of his world, Bennett had opened all sorts of worlds inside my own head. Gradually I began to realize that none of the subjects I wrote poems about engaged my deepest feelings, that there was a great chasm between what I cared about and what I wrote about. Why? What was I afraid of? Myself, most of all, it seemed. "Freedom is an illusion," Bennett would have said and, in a way, I too would have agreed. Sanity, moderation, hard work, stability . . . I believed in them too. But what was that other voice inside of me which kept urging me on toward zipless fucks, and speeding cars and endless wet kisses and guts full of danger? What was that other voice which kept calling me coward! and egging me on to burn my bridges, to swallow the poison in one gulp instead of drop by drop, to go down into the bottom of my fear and see if I could pull myself up? Was it a voice? Or was it a thump? Something even more primitive than speech. A kind of pounding in my gut which I had nicknamed my "hunger-thump." It was as if my stomach thought of itself as a heart. And no matter how I filled it—with men, with books, with food—it refused to be still. Unfillable—that's what I was. Nymphomania of the brain. Starvation of the heart.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
It’s not fair!” Sunny wailed. “Why do you get to stay? Why can’t I stay, if you can?” I had to swallow hard. “That wouldn’t be fair, would it? But I don’t get to stay, Sunny. I have to go, too. And soon. Maybe we’ll leave together.” Perhaps she’d be happier if she thought I was going to the Dolphins with her. By the time she knew otherwise, Sunny would have a different host with different emotions and no tie to this human beside me. Maybe. Anyway, it would be too late. “I have to go, Sunny, just like you. I have to give my body back, too.” And then, flat and hard from right behind us, Ian’s voice broke through the quiet like the crack of a whip. ”What?
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
HERMIONE: I’m sorry, Severus. SNAPE looks at her, and then swallows the pain. He indicates RON with a flick of his head. SNAPE: Well, at least I’m not married to him.
Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8))
The touch was so hesitant at first, I thought for sure that he was still asleep, shifting in dreams. Liam’s hand came down next to mine on the seat, his fingers inching over one at a time, hooking over mine in a way that was as tender as it was shy. I bit my lip, letting his warm, rough skin engulf mine. His eyes were still shut and stayed that way, even as I saw him struggle to swallow. There was nothing to say now. Our linked hands rose as he guided them to rest against his chest, and they stayed there, through the song, the mountains, the cities. Until the end.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
I don't even bother looking for words. It flows in me, more or less quickly. I fix nothing, I let it go. Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up: I forget them almost immediately.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Every time I look at you, I'm either so pissed I can't stand the sight of you or so fucking horny I can't take my eyes off you. I don't think I have to tell you which I prefer. I swallowed. "So which is it now?" I'm looking at you aren't I?
L.A. Witt (The Distance Between Us (The Distance Between Us #1; Wilde's #2))
Destroy superabundance. Starve the flesh, shave the hair, clarify the mind, define the will, restrain the senses, leave the family, flee the church, kill the vermin,vomit the heart, forget the dead. Limit time, forgo amusement, deny nature, reject acquaintances, discard objects, forget truths, dissect myth, stop motion, block impulse, choke sobs, swallow chatter. Scorn joy, scorn touch, scorn tragedy, scorn liberty, scorn constancy, scorn hope, scorn exaltation, scorn reproduction, scorn variety, scorn embellishment, scorn release, scorn rest, scorn sweetness, scorn light. It's a question of form as much as function. It is a matter of revulsion.
Jenny Holzer
I’m a good man,’ Slim says. ‘But I’m a bad man too. And that’s like all men, kid. We all got a bit o’ good and a bit o’ bad in us. The tricky part is learnin’ how to be good all the time and bad none of the time. Some of us get that right. Most of us don’t.
Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe: The International Bestseller)
You wrote of being in a village upthread together, living as friends and neighbours do, and I could have swallowed this valley whole and still not have sated my hunger for the thought.
Amal El-Mohtar (This is How You Lose the Time War)
We all, everyone one of us, carry a star inside our chests. ...Light and darkness are always side-by-side. If you show even the slightest fear or tears to the darkness, it will immediately swell and come attacking, and swallow up the light. Serenity, in order to defeat the darkness and dark souls, you must keep the star inside your chest burning brightly at all times. That is your most important charge.
Naoko Takeuchi (美少女戦士セーラームーン新装版 10 [Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Shinsōban 10])
She will learn in time that she can lie, and the words will flow like wine, easily poured, easily swallowed. But the truth will always stop at the end of her tongue. Her story silenced for all but herself.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
I feel him brush the grape over my lips again. Instinctively, sensually, I open my mouth and let him feed it to me, breathing hard. By the time I swallow, his smile is gone.
Katy Evans (Manwhore (Manwhore, #1))
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
Time for Wine Tasting 101. “So here’s how this works. When tasting a wine, as opposed to casual drinking, there are four basic steps you need to remember: sight, smell, taste, then spit or swallow.” Nick paused at that last part and cocked his head. “And your personal preference on the latter would be…?” “Only lightweights spit.” His right eye twitched.
Julie James (A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2))
A crowd of women around me doing the ocean of women’s work that never subsided and never changed and always swallowed whatever time you gave it and wanted more, another hungry body of water. I submerged into it like a ritual bath and let it close over my head gladly.
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
Colson Whitehead (The Colossus of New York)
I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of songs. Time and again I, too, have felt so full of luminous torrents that I could burst-burst with forms much more beautiful than those which are put up in frames and sold for a fortune. And I, too, said nothing, showed nothing; I didn't open my mouth, I didn't repaint my half of the world. I was ashamed. I was afraid, and I swallowed my shame and my fear. I said to myself: You are mad! What's the meaning of these waves, these floods, these outbursts? Where is the ebullient infinite woman who...hasn't been ashamed of her strength? Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a ...divine composure), hasn't accused herself of being a monster? Who, feeling a funny desire stirring inside her (to sing, to write, to dare to speak, in short, to bring out something new), hasn't thought that she was sick? Well, her shameful sickness is that she resists death, that she makes trouble.
Hélène Cixous
Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Sudden Light I have been here before, But when or how I cannot tell: I know the grass beyond the door, The sweet keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights around the shore. You have been mine before,— How long ago I may not know: But just when at that swallow's soar Your neck turn'd so, Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore. Has this been thus before? And shall not thus time's eddying flight Still with our lives our love restore In death's despite, And day and night yield one delight once more?
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (The Complete Poetical Works Of Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
His wedding ring clinks against the glass as he takes another sip of wine. Now that is a sexy sound. This time he pulls my head right back, cradling me. He kisses me once more, and greedily I swallow the wine he gives me. He smiles as he kisses me again.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
A floorboard cracked; knuckles tapped once on the open door. Adam looked up to see Niall Lynch standing in the doorway. No, it was Ronan, face lit bright on one side, in stark shadow on the other, looking powerful and at ease with his thumbs tucked in the pockets of his jeans, leather bracelets looped over his wrist, feet bare. He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it. “This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam. Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him. That was this kiss. They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips. Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window. He did not understand anything. It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible. He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss. “I’m gonna go downstairs,” Ronan said.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Sometimes it feels as if God set you on Earth with a bottle full of nasty-tasting pills called days and these instructions: Swallow one at a time. When entire prescription is finished, you may return home.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
A song of despair The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the dwarves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss. The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver, turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank! In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded. Lost discoverer, in you everything sank! You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire, sadness stunned you, in you everything sank! I made the wall of shadow draw back, beyond desire and act, I walked on. Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost, I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you. Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness. and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar. There was the black solitude of the islands, and there, woman of love, your arms took me in. There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit. There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle. Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms! How terrible and brief my desire was to you! How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds. Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs, oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies. Oh the mad coupling of hope and force in which we merged and despaired. And the tenderness, light as water and as flour. And the word scarcely begun on the lips. This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing, and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank! Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you, what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned! From billow to billow you still called and sang. Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel. You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents. Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well. Pale blind diver, luckless slinger, lost discoverer, in you everything sank! It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour which the night fastens to all the timetables. The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore. Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands. Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything. It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!
Pablo Neruda
We didn't speak, just drove out of the city into the countryside on our way to absolutely nowhere, and when we found that perfect spot among the trees, we stopped and looked at each other. Swallows swooped through the red sky, back from their adventure, and we held each other underneath the ketchup clouds, willing time to stop and the world to forget us for a while.
Annabel Pitcher (Ketchup Clouds)
Why do I take a blade and slash my arms? Why do I drink myself into a stupor? Why do I swallow bottles of pills and end up in A&E having my stomach pumped? Am I seeking attention? Showing off? The pain of the cuts releases the mental pain of the memories, but the pain of healing lasts weeks. After every self-harming or overdosing incident I run the risk of being sectioned and returned to a psychiatric institution, a harrowing prospect I would not recommend to anyone. So, why do I do it? I don't. If I had power over the alters, I'd stop them. I don't have that power. When they are out, they're out. I experience blank spells and lose time, consciousness, dignity. If I, Alice Jamieson, wanted attention, I would have completed my PhD and started to climb the academic career ladder. Flaunting the label 'doctor' is more attention-grabbing that lying drained of hope in hospital with steri-strips up your arms and the vile taste of liquid charcoal absorbing the chemicals in your stomach. In most things we do, we anticipate some reward or payment. We study for status and to get better jobs; we work for money; our children are little mirrors of our social standing; the charity donation and trip to Oxfam make us feel good. Every kindness carries the potential gift of a responding kindness: you reap what you sow. There is no advantage in my harming myself; no reason for me to invent delusional memories of incest and ritual abuse. There is nothing to be gained in an A&E department.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
it's so easy to get lost inside a problem that seems so big at the time it's like a river a that's so wide it swallows you whole while your sittin round thinkin 'bout what you can't change and worrying about all the wrong things times flying by moving so fast you better use it all cause you can't get it back sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand and what you've been out there searching for forever is in your hands ooooo when you figure out love is all that matters after all it sure makes everything else seem so small.
Carrie Underwood (Carrie Underwood -- Some Hearts: Piano/Vocal/Chords)
[T.J.] Without thinking, I held them out to her. She stopped laughing, and looked at me like she wasn't quite sure what I meant. I waited, and she leaned toward me and opened her mouth. I slid my fingers inside, wondering if my eyes were as big as hers. When she sucked the breadfruit off, my breathing got all messed up. "More?" She nodded, just barely, and her breathing didn't sound right either. I scooped up some breadfruit and this time, when I put my fingers in her mouth, she put her hand on my wrist. I waited for her to swallow and then I lost my shit completely. I grabbed her face with both hands, and I kissed her, hard. She opened her mouth and I slipped my tongue inside. I could have kissed her for days, and if she told me to stop I wasn't sure I'd be able to.
Tracey Garvis Graves (On the Island (On the Island, #1))
Our afflictions brothers and sisters often will not be extinguished, they will be dwarfed and swallowed up in the joy of Christ. That’s how we overcome, most of the time. It’s not their elimination, but the placing of them in that larger context.
Neal A. Maxwell
You were right, you know,” Ty whispered. “About what?” Ty swallowed hard. “I sold my soul a long time ago.” Ty gripped Zane’s shoulder and pressed him down, laying him out again, then stretched out over Zane, his hand dragging down Zane’s body to push at his boxers. “Ty,” Zane gasped. Ty kissed him. Zane trailed the tips of his fingers down Ty’s arm, sliding over the tattoo and the scars and the muscles. “Do you really believe that?” Zane asked. “I know it. I will never be the man you think I am.” Zane’s breaths came harder. “We’ve both been trying so hard to be worthy of each other.
Abigail Roux (Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7))
Swallow the tears back often enough and they’ll start feeling like acid dripping down your throat. It’s that terrible moment when you’re sitting still so still so still because you don’t want them to see you cry you don’t want to cry but your lips won’t stop trembling and your eyes are filled to the brim with please and I beg you and please and I’m sorry and please and have mercy and maybe this time it’ll be different but it’s always the same. There’s no one to run to for comfort. No one on your side. Light a candle for me, I used to whisper to no one. Someone. Anyone. If you’re out there. Please tell me you can feel this fire.
Tahereh Mafi
A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. So you do. You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her and she leaves you and you’re desolate. You’re on your back in your undershirt, a broken man on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains on the ceiling. And you can hear the man in the apartment above you taking off his shoes. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up, you’re waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together but here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense. And then the second boot falls. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth. A man walks into a bar and says: Take my wife–please. But you take him instead. You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich, and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you and he keeps kicking you. You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don’t work. Boots continue to fall to the floor in the apartment above you. You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened. Your co-workers ask if everything’s okay and you tell them you’re just tired. And you’re trying to smile. And they’re trying to smile. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Make it a double. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says: Walk a mile in my shoes. A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying: I only wanted something simple, something generic… But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out. A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river but then he’s still left with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away but then he’s still left with his hands.
Richard Siken
You’re late.” Fang stepped out of the shadows, eating an apple. He was dressed in black, as usual, and his face looked like a lumpy plum pie. But his eyes shone as he came toward me, and then I was running to him over the sand, my wins out in back or me. We smashed together awkwardly, with fang standing stiffly for a moment, but then his arms slowly came around me, and he hugged me back. I held him tight trying to swallow the lump of cotton in my throat, my head on his shoulder, my eyes squeezed shut. Don’t ever leave me again,” I said in a tiny voice. I won’t,” he promised into my hair, most un-fang like. I won’t. Not ever.” And just like that, a cold shard of ice that had been inside my chest ever since we’d spilt up – well, it just disappeared. I felt myself relax for the first time in I don’t know how long. The wind was chilly, but the sun was bright, and my whole flock was together. Fang and I were together. “Excuse me? I’m alive too.” Iggy’s plaintive voice made me pull back.
James Patterson
You’re not too bad, Finley Sinclair.” I couldn’t have looked away from this boy if the room had caught on fire. “You’re okay yourself. At times.” “But we can’t get involved.” “No.” I swallowed. “Definitely not.” His face lowered a fraction of an inch. “Because I’m infamously bad.” “And I’m staying away from trouble.” His voice was rough, husky. “It would never work.” I took a step closer. “Impossible.” He traced my cheek with the pad of his thumb. “We don’t even like each other." “I pretty much can’t stand you.” And then his lips crushed to mine.
Jenny B. Jones (There You'll Find Me)
Was there anything else? asked the centaur. Did Artemis say or do anything else? Holly shook her head miserably. No. He got a little sentimental, which is unusual for him, but understandable. He told me to kiss you. She stood on tiptoes and kissed Foaly’s forehead. “Just in case, I suppose.” Foaly was suddenly upset, and almost overwhelmed, but he coughed and swallowed it down for another time. He said, Kiss Foaly. Those exact words? No, said Holly, thinking back. He kissed me, and said, Give him that from me. The centaur grinned, then cackled, then dragged her across the lab. We need to get your forehead under an electron microscope, he said.
Eoin Colfer (The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl, #8))
His thumb stroked my cheek. My eyes half-closed. When he spoke next, it was very softly, his voice an almost-physical caress against my whole body. My flesh tightened like a harpstring. I swallowed hard against the wave of liquid heat. "How can I possibly be jealous when I know you spent your time grieving for me, Dante?
Lilith Saintcrow (Dead Man Rising (Dante Valentine, #2))
A long time ago, Roma had told Juliette that her anger was like a cold diamond. It was something she could swallow smoothly, something to be placed upon other people, gliding along their skin in glitter and glamour before they realized far too late that the diamond had sliced them into pieces. He had admired her for it. Mostly because his own anger was the precise opposite—an uncontrollable wave of fire that knew no subtlety.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon. And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
Basically, being alive means keeping yourself ready for the sky to fall in on you at any time. If you start from the assumption that existence is only an ordeal, a test we have to pass, then you’re equipped to deal with its sorrows and its surprises. If you persist in expecting it to give you something it can’t give, that just proves that you haven’t understood anything. Take things as they come; don’t turn them into a drama. You’re not piloting the ship, you’re following the course of your destiny.
Yasmina Khadra (Swallows of Kabul)
At such times when we feel the floods are threatening to drown us and the deep is going to swallow up the tossed vessel of our faith, I pray we may always hear amid the storm and the darkness that sweet utterance of the Savior of the world: 'Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid' (Matt. 14:27)
Howard W. Hunter
Personally, if I were trying to discourage people from smoking, my sign would be a little different. In fact, I might even go too far in the opposite direction. My sign would say something like, "Smoke if you wish. But if you do, be prepared for the following series of events: First, we will confiscate your cigarette and extinguish it somewhere on the surface of your skin. We will then run you nicotine-stained fingers through a paper shredder and throw them into the street, where wild dogs will swallow them and then regurgitate them into the sewers, so that infected rats can further soil them before they're flushed out to sea with the rest of the city's filth. After such time, we will sysematically seek out your friends and loved one and destroy their lives." Wouldn't you like to see a sign like that?
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
And yet, standing behind her son, waiting for the traffic light change, she remembered how in the midst of it all there had been a time when she'd felt a loneliness so deep that once, not so many years ago, having a cavity filled, the dentist's gentle turning of her chin with his soft fingers had felt to her like a tender kindness of almost excruciating depth, and she had swallowed with a groan of longing, tears springing to her eyes.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1))
Given the ease with which health infuses life with meaning and purpose, it is shocking how swiftly illness steals away those certainties…Time unused and only endured still vanishes, as if time itself is starving, and each day is swallowed whole, leaving no crumbs, no memory, no trace at all.
Elisabeth Tova Bailey (The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating)
What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of “Yellow Submarine,” which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d’être, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I’d train it to say, “Wasn’t me!” every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, “Ce n’étais pas moi!” What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboard down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer
You have to let it go if you're going to keep moving, if you're going to survive, because the past doesn't need a future. It has no use for what comes next. The past is greedy, always swallowing you up, always taking. If you don't hold it back, if you don't dam it up, it will spread and take and drown. The past is not a receding horizon. Rather, it advances one moment at a time, marching steadily forward until it has claimed everything and we become again who we were; we become ghosts when the past catches us. I can't live as long as my past does. It's one or the other.
Brandon Taylor (Real Life)
Consider the capacity of the human body for pleasure. Sometimes, it is pleasant to eat, to drink, to see, to touch, to smell, to hear, to make love. The mouth. The eyes. The fingertips, The nose. The ears. The genitals. Our voluptific faculties (if you will forgive me the coinage) are not exclusively concentrated here. The whole body is susceptible to pleasure, but in places there are wells from which it may be drawn up in greater quantity. But not inexhaustibly. How long is it possible to know pleasure? Rich Romans ate to satiety, and then purged their overburdened bellies and ate again. But they could not eat for ever. A rose is sweet, but the nose becomes habituated to its scent. And what of the most intense pleasures, the personality-annihilating ecstasies of sex? I am no longer a young man; even if I chose to discard my celibacy I would surely have lost my stamina, re-erecting in half-hours where once it was minutes. And yet if youth were restored to me fully, and I engaged again in what was once my greatest delight – to be fellated at stool by nymphet with mouth still blood-heavy from the necessary precautions – what then? What if my supply of anodontic premenstruals were never-ending, what then? Surely, in time, I should sicken of it. “Even if I were a woman, and could string orgasm on orgasm like beads on a necklace, in time I should sicken of it. Do you think Messalina, in that competition of hers with a courtesan, knew pleasure as much on the first occasion as the last? Impossible. “Yet consider. “Consider pain. “Give me a cubic centimeter of your flesh and I could give you pain that would swallow you as the ocean swallows a grain of salt. And you would always be ripe for it, from before the time of your birth to the moment of your death, we are always in season for the embrace of pain. To experience pain requires no intelligence, no maturity, no wisdom, no slow working of the hormones in the moist midnight of our innards. We are always ripe for it. All life is ripe for it. Always.
Jesus I. Aldapuerta (The Eyes: Emetic Fables from the Andalusian de Sade)
Most of the time, we see only what we want to see, or what others tell us to see, instead of really investigate to see what is really there. We embrace illusions only because we are presented with the illusion that they are embraced by the majority. When in truth, they only become popular because they are pounded at us by the media with such an intensity and high level of repetition that its mere force disguises lies and truths. And like obedient schoolchildren, we do not question their validity and swallow everything up like medicine. Why? Because since the earliest days of our youth, we have been conditioned to accept that the direction of the herd, and authority anywhere — is always right.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant, and which know me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then. Who has put me here? By whose order and direction have this place and time been allotted to me? Memoria hospitis unius diei prætereuntis.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I do need that time, though, for Naoko's face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute-like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it: my memory is growing ever more distant from the spot where Naoko used to stand-ever more distant from the spot where my old self used to stand. And nothing but scenery, that view of the meadow in October, returns again and again to me like a symbolic scene in a movie. Each time is appears, it delivers a kick to some part of my mind. "Wake up," it says. "I'm still here. Wake up and think about it. Think about why I'm still here." The kicking never hurts me. There's no pain at all. Just a hollow sound that echoes with each kick. And even that is bound to fade one day. At the Hamburg airport, though, the kicks were longer and harder than usual. Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I'm made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I wanted so much to step over and pick them up. Several times I tried to move my feet, but they seemed to be nailed to the floor. I knew the pups were mine, all mine, yet I couldn't move. My heart started aching like a drunk grasshopper. I tried to swallow and couldn't. My Adam's apple wouldn't work. One pup started my way. I held my breath. On he came until I felt a scratchy little foot on mine. The other pup followed. A warm puppy tongue caressed my sore foot. I heard the stationmaster say, 'They already know you.' I knelt down and gathered them in my arms. I buried my face between their wiggling bodies and cried.
Wilson Rawls (Where the Red Fern Grows)
And you? Did you find the doorknob?” Hadrian picked up a jug and downed several swallows, drinking so quickly some of the water dripped down his chin. He poured some in his palm and rinsed his face, running his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t even get close enough to see a door.” “Well, look on the bright side”—Hadrian smiled—“at least you weren’t captured and condemned to death this time.” “That’s the bright side?” “What can I say? I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
For us, eating and being eaten belong to the terrible secret of love. We love only the person we can eat. The person we hate we ‘can’t swallow.’ That one makes us vomit. Even our friends are inedible. If we were asked to dig into our friend’s flesh we would be disgusted. The person we love we dream only of eating. That is, we slide down that razor’s edge of ambivalence. The story of torment itself is a very beautiful one. Because loving is wanting and being able to eat up and yet to stop at the boundary. And there, at the tiniest beat between springing and stopping, in rushes fear. The spring is already in mid-air. The heart stops. The heart takes off again. Everything in love is oriented towards this absorption. At the same time real love is a don’t-touch, yet still an almost-touching. Tact itself: a phantom touching. Eat me up, my love, or else I’m going to eat you up. Fear of eating, fear of the edible, fear on the part of the one of them who feels loved, desired, who wants to be loved, desired, who desires to be desired, who knows there is no greater proof of love than the other’s appetite, who is dying to be eaten up, who says or doesn’t say, but who signifies: I beg you, eat me up. Want me down to the marrow. And yet manage it so as to keep me alive. But I often turn about or compromise, because I know that you won’t eat me up, in the end, and I urge you: bite me. Sign my death with your teeth
Hélène Cixous (Stigmata: Escaping Texts)
I’ve been nothing but an asshole to you since the first day we met.” “I know.” He rests his forehead against mine as his hands move across my back. “I’ve pushed you away, time and again. Yet you still want me to kiss you?” “Yes. A lot.” He grazes his hands over my ribs, and his voice is soft and breathless when he says, “Don’t you see how fucked up this is? How bad I’d be for you?” “I know,” I say, unable to stop looking at his mouth, “but do you want it? Do you want…me?” Just say it. Please. He swallows again, and whispers, “Fuck, yes.
Leisa Rayven (Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1))
When he turned his head she saw him swallow. He mumbled, 'I'd ask you out, if I was alive.' Nothing was fair. 'I'd say okay,' she replied. She only had time to see him smile faintly. And then he was gone. She rolled back in the middle of the suddenly empty bed. Above her, the rafters glowed with the summer sun. Blue touched her mouth. It felt the same way as it always did. Not at all like she has just gotten her first and last kiss.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
If you stand right at the edge of the night sky, some place where one o’clock leaves to meet two, the breeze will carry your words up to the stars. And they’ll swallow your secrets until its time to hand them over to the truths in the sky- the ones that draw maps in the black. They carve their answers into the backs of my hands, the grooves of the words running deep in my palms.
Marlen Komar (Ugly People Beautiful Hearts)
Then something happened in the next two seconds, but neither Lex nor Driggs would be able to recall exactly what. All they knew was that after it was over, their eyes met once again, this time in horror. “Why did you just kiss my ear?” Lex asked nervously. Driggs winced. “Because you turned your head.” “I thought that tree . .  . moved.” “Oh.” Another moment of silence. Driggs bit his lip. “Do you mind if I try again?” She swallowed. “Okay.” Then something else happened, and this time both Lex and Driggs would remember exactly what it was.
Gina Damico (Croak (Croak, #1))
Just wish it. But remember, it will only work if it's what you most desire. Do it now. We're running out of time." WHAT I MOST DESIRE. WHAT I MOST DESIRE. I looked into his electric eyes and made my wish. Then I popped the bean into my mouth and swallowed it whole. For a moment, the world stood still. We sat in a silent bubble, just us two, insulated from the snow and the wind. His eyes widened. "But, Katrina, that wish was supposed to be for you." "It's what I most desire." And it was.
Suzanne Selfors (Coffeehouse Angel)
I bent down over my neighborhood, taking in the people there. At first, they'd just seemed arranged the same way they were everywhere else: in random formations, some in groups, some alone. Then, though, I saw the single figure at the back of my house, walking away from the back door. And another person, a girl, running through the side yard, where the hedge would have been, while someone else, with a badge and flashlight followed. There were three people under the basketball goal, one lying prone on the ground. I took a breath, then moved in closer. Two people were seated on the curb between Dave's and my houses: a few inches away two more walked up the narrow alley to Luna Blu's back door. A couple stood in the driveway, facing each other. And in that empty building, the old hotel, a tiny set of cellar doors had been added, flung open, a figure standing before them. Whether they were about to go down, or just coming up, was unclear, and the cellar itself was a dark square. But I knew what was down below. He'd put me everywhere. Every single place I'd been, with him or without, from the first time we'd met to the last conversation. It was all there, laid out as carefully, as real as the buildings and streets around it. I swallowed, hard, then reached forward, touching the girl running through the hedge. Not Liz Sweet. Not anyone, at that moment, not yet. But on her way to someone. To me.
Sarah Dessen (What Happened to Goodbye)
He sighed profoundly, and flung himself - there was a passion in his movements which deserves the word - on the earth at the foot of the oak tree. He loved, beneath all this summer transiency, to feel the earth's spine beneath him; for such he took the hard root of the oak tree to be; or, for image followed image, it was the back of a great horse that he was riding; or the deck of a tumbling ship - it was anything indeed, so long as it was hard, for he felt the need of something which he could attach his floating heart to; the heart that tugged at his side; the heart that seemed filled with spiced and amorous gales every evening about this time when he walked out. To the oak tree he tied it and as he lay there, gradually the flutter in and about him stilled itself; the little leaves hung, the deer stopped; the pale summer clouds stayed; his limbs grew heavy on the ground; and he lay so still that by degrees the deer stopped nearer and the rooks wheeled round him and the swallows dipped and circled and the dragonflies shot past, as if all the fertility and amorous activity of a summer's evening were woven web-like about his body.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Christianity is a religion in a rush. Look at the world created in seven days. Even on a symbolic level, that's creation in a frenzy. To one born in a religion where the battle for a single soul can be a relay race run over many centuries, with innumerable generations passing along the baton, the quick resolution of Christianity has a dizzying effect. If Hinduism flows placidly like the Ganges, then Christianity bustles like Toronto at rush hour. It is religion as swift as a swallow, as urgent as an ambulance. It turns on a dime, expresses itself in the instant. In a moment you are lost or saved. Christianity stretches back through the ages, but in essence it exists only at one time: right now.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Perry...," Aria said, covering his hand. "Peregrine... you are kind. You put your life at risk for Talon and Cinder. For me. You did it when you didn't even like me. You worry about your tribe. You ache for Roar and your sister. I know you do. I saw it in your face every time Roar spoke of Live." Her voice was shaking. She swallowed the lump in her throat. "You are good, Peregrine." He shook his head. "You've seen me." "I have. And I know your heart is good.
Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1))
Everything just feels so right when I'm with you, Scarlett. I can be me. But it's more than that. You give me something I haven't had in a long time, if ever. You give me peace. It's like the jumbled mess in my head can settle down, and I can be still with you. Like none of the other stuff matters." His voice catches, and he swallows. "I had a bad day and usually I'd get shitfaced drunk, but the only thing I could think of was I had to see you.
Denise Grover Swank (After Math (Off the Subject, #1))
I'll tell the truth; all of my songs Are pretty much the fucking same I'm not a faerie but I need More than this life so I became This creature representing more to you Than just another girl And if I had a chance to change my mind I wouldn't for the world Twenty years Sinking slowly Can I trust you But I don't want to I don't want to be a legend Oh well that's a god damned lie - I do To say I do this for the people I admit is hardly true You tell me everything's all right As though it's something you've been through You think this torment is romantic Well it's not except to you Twenty years Sinking slowly Can I trust you But I don't want to I will swallow If it will help my sea level go down But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown Low tide and high tea The oysters are waiting for me If I'm not there on time I'll send my emissary If I photoshop you Out of every picture I could Go quietly quiet But would that do any good Will it hurt? No it won't Then what am I so afraid of Filthy victorians They made me what I'm made of The brighter the light The darker the shadow I don't need a minder I've made up my mind Go away
Emilie Autumn
While I pressed the tissue to my face, Beck said, “Can I tell you something? There are a lot of empty boxes in your head, Sam.” I looked at him, quizzical. Again, it was a strange enough concept to hold my attention. “There are a lot of empty boxes in there, and you can put things in them.” Beck handed me another tissue for the other side of my face. My trust of Beck at that point was not yet complete; I remember thinking that he was making a very bad joke that I wasn’t getting. My voice sounded wary, even to me. “What kinds of things?” “Sad things,” Beck said. “Do you have a lot of sad things in your head?” “No,” I said. Beck sucked in his lower lip and released it slowly. “Well, I do.” This was shocking. I didn’t ask a question, but I tilted toward him. “And these things would make me cry,” Beck continued. “They used to make me cry all day long.” I remembered thinking this was probably a lie. I could not imagine Beck crying. He was a rock. Even then, his fingers braced against the floor, he looked poised, sure, immutable. “You don’t believe me? Ask Ulrik. He had to deal with it,” Beck said. “And so you know what I did with those sad things? I put them in boxes. I put the sad things in the boxes in my head, and I closed them up and I put tape on them and I stacked them up in the corner and threw a blanket over them.” “Brain tape?” I suggested, with a little smirk. I was eight, after all. Beck smiled, a weird private smile that, at the time, I didn’t understand. Now I knew it was relief at eliciting a joke from me, no matter how pitiful the joke was. “Yes, brain tape. And a brain blanket over the top. Now I don’t have to look at those sad things anymore. I could open those boxes sometime, I guess, if I wanted to, but mostly I just leave them sealed up.” “How did you use the brain tape?” “You have to imagine it. Imagine putting those sad things in the boxes and imagine taping it up with the brain tape. And imagine pushing them into the side of your brain, where you won’t trip over them when you’re thinking normally, and then toss a blanket over the top. Do you have sad things, Sam?” I could see the dusty corner of my brain where the boxes sat. They were all wardrobe boxes, because those were the most interesting sort of boxes — tall enough to make houses with — and there were rolls and rolls of brain tape stacked on top. There were razors lying beside them, waiting to cut the boxes and me back open. “Mom,” I whispered. I wasn’t looking at Beck, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him swallow. “What else?” he asked, barely loud enough for me to hear. “The water,” I said. I closed my eyes. I could see it, right there, and I had to force out the next word. “My …” My fingers were on my scars. Beck reached out a hand toward my shoulder, hesitant. When I didn’t move away, he put an arm around my back and I leaned against his chest, feeling small and eight and broken. “Me,” I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
I came to get you. I knew you'd freak out." "But..." My head still feels like a helium balloon. "Why?" Nick looks blank. "Because you always freak out." I shake my head. My voice feels like I've swallowed it. "I mean, why do you care if I freak out?" There's a long silence. "Well," Wilbur finally bursts, "I can take a shot in the dark, if you want." "Seriously," Nick snaps, making his fingers into a gun shape. "I'm going to take a shot in the dark in a minute and it will make contact." Wilbur looks charmed. "Isn't he adorable?" he says fondly. "My duty as Fairy Godmother is complete, anyhoo, and I believe it's time to spread my magic dust elsewhere. So many pumpkins after all; so little time.
Holly Smale (Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1))
Under a smoky streetlamp I stood face to face with my beloved and pricked my fingers against the diamond studs of her immaculate shirt front. Being tall, she slipped her hands naturally about my hips and pulled me close. And being bold, I put my mouth on hers and this time went inside and told her all the things I’d been longing to. Dark and sweet, the elixir of love is in her mouth. The more I drink, the more I remember all the things we’ve never done. I was a ghost until I touched you. Never swallowed mortal food until I tasted you, never understood the spoken word until I found your tongue. I’ve been a sleep-walker, sad somnambula, hands outstretched to strike the solid thing that could awaken me to life at last. I have only ever stood here under this lamp, against your body, I’ve missed you all my life.
Ann-Marie MacDonald (Fall on Your Knees)
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
Evening prayer I spend my life sitting, like an angel in a barber's chair, Holding a beer mug with deep-cut designs, My neck and gut both bent, while in the air A weightless veil of pipe smoke hangs. Like steaming dung within an old dovecote A thousand Dreams within me softly burn: From time to time my heart is like some oak Whose blood runs golden where a branch is torn. And then, when I have swallowed down my Dreams In thirty, forty mugs of beer, I turn To satisfy a need I can't ignore, And like the Lord of Hyssop and of Myrrh I piss into the skies, a soaring stream That consecrates a patch of flowering fern.
Arthur Rimbaud (Complete Works)
He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from his back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. 'Harder,' Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes through the fifth floor, where Richard's family is now storing stacks of Moroccan tiles, down through the fourth floor, which is empty, down through Richard and India's apartment, and Richard's studio, and then to the ground floor, and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossil and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Now, I learned a long time ago how to be quiet on the outside while I'm freaking on the inside. How to turn away like I don't see all the things that need to be seen, just to keep peace. How to lie low and act like I want nothing, expect nothing, and hope for nothing so I don't become more trouble than I'm worth. I'm five months short of eighteen and I know how to be cursed and ignored and left behind, how to swallow a thousand tears and ignore a thousand delibarate cruelties, but it's two in the morning on New Year's Eve and I'm mad and scared and bone tired and really, really sick of acting like I'm grateful to be staying on a hairy, sagging, dog-stained couch in a junky, mildewed trailer with a fat, dangerous, volatile drunk who sweats stale beer and wallows in his own wastewater, and who doesn't think there's one thing wrong with taking his crap life out on his dog, who comes bellying back for forgiveness every single time, no matter how rotten the treatment-
Laura Wiess (Ordinary Beauty)
What good is a crow to a pack of grieving humans? A huddle. A throb.              A sore.                          A plug.                                       A gape.                                                    A load. A gap. So, yes. I do eat baby rabbits, plunder nests, swallow filth, cheat death, mock the starving homeless, misdirect, misinform. Oi, stab it! A bloody load of time wasted. But I care, deeply. I find humans dull except in grief.
Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
For there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people,are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other. At the input end they even develop ganglia of nerves called brains, with eyes and ears, so that they can more easily scrounge around for things to swallow. As and when they get enough to eat, they use up their surplus energy by wiggling in complicated patterns, making all sorts of noises by blowing air in and out of the input hole, and gathering together in groups to fight with other groups. In time, the tubes grow such an abundance of attached appliances that they are hardly recognizable as mere tubes, and they manage to do this in a staggering variety of forms. There is a vague rule not to eat tubes of your own form, but in general there is serious competition as to who is going to be the top type of tube. All this seems marvelously futile, and yet, when you begin to think about it, it begins to be more marvelous than futile. Indeed, it seems extremely odd.
Alan W. Watts
When I was a kid I used to drink from the tap all the time. I'd run back into the flat all hot and sweaty from playing and didn't even bother putting it in a glass, just turned the tap on and stuck my mouth underneath it. If my mom caught me doing it she used to scold me, but my dad just said that I had to be careful. 'What if a fish jumped out?' he used to say. 'You'd swallow it before you knew it was there.' Dad was always saying stuff like that and it wasn't until I was seventeen that I realised it was because he was stoned all the time.
Ben Aaronovitch (Midnight Riot (Rivers of London #1))
She felt the words dangling there, felt herself dangling there, off the edge of the cliff. She swallowed. But Rowan had caught her each time she had fallen- first, when she had plummeted into that abyss of despair and grief; second, when that castle had shattered and she had plunged to the earth. And now this time, this third time...She was not afraid. Aelin met Rowan's stare and said clearly and baldly and without a speckle of doubt, I love you. I am in love with you, Rowan.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Humour is, in fact, a prelude to faith; and laughter is the beginning of prayer. Laughter must be heard in the outer courts of religion, and the echoes of it should resound in the sanctuary; but there is no laughter in the holy of holies. There laughter is swallowed up in prayer and humour is fulfilled by faith. The intimate relation between humour and faith is derived from the fact that both deal with the incongruities of our existence. ... Laughter is our reaction to immediate incongruities and those which do not affect us essentially. Faith is the only possible response to the ultimate incongruities of existence, which threaten the very meaning of our life.
Reinhold Niebuhr (Discerning the Signs of the Times - Sermons for Today and Tomorrow)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
It was heart-shaking. Glorious. Torches, dizziness, singing. Wolves howling around us and a bull bellowing in the dark. The river ran white. It was like a film in fast motion, the moon waxing and waning, clouds rushing across the sky. Vines grew from the ground so fast they twined up the trees like snakes; seasons passing in the wink of an eye, entire years for all I know. . . . Mean we think of phenomenal change as being the very essence of time, when it's not at all. Time is something which defies spring and water, birth and decay, the good and the bad, indifferently. Something changeless and joyous and absolutely indestructible. Duality ceases to exist; there is no ego, no 'I,' and yet it's not at all like those horrid comparisons one sometimes hears in Eastern religions, the self being a drop of water swallowed by the ocean of the universe. It's more as if the universe expands to fill the boundaries of the self. You have no idea how pallid the workday boundaries of ordinary existence seem, after such an ecstasy.
Donna Tartt
Once upon a time, there was only darkness, and there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it. They loved the darkness because it concealed their hideousness. Whenever some other creature contrived to make light, they would extinguish it. When stars were born, they swallowed them, and it seemed that darkness would be eternal. But a race of bright warriors heard of them and traveled from their far world to do battle with them. The war was long, light against dark, and many of the warriors were slain. In the end, when they vanquished the monsters, there were a hundred left alive, and these hundred were the godstars, who brought light to the universe.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3))
What happens when I touch you, Kiera?" His tone, almost a growl, was getting as suggestive as his words [...] He ran a hand down his shirt, as he answered his own question. "Your pulse races, your breath quickens." He bit his lip and started simulating heavy breathing [...] "Your body trembles, your lips part, your eyes burn." He closed his eyes and exhaled with a soft groan, then reopened his eyes and suggestively inhaled through his teeth. [...] "Your body aches...everywhere." He closed his eyes again and exactly mimicked a low moan that I had made with him on several occasions. He tangled a hand back through his own hair, in a way that I had done time and again, and ran his other hand back up his chest, in a way that was only too familiar with me. [...] He swallowed and made a horribly enticing noise as he let his mouth fall open in a pant. "Oh...God...please..." He mimicked in a low groan, as his hands started running down his body, towards his jeans...
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1))
In our every cell, furled at the nucleus, there is a ribbon two yards long and just ten atoms wide. Over a hundred million miles of DNA in very human individual, enough to wrap five million times around our world and make the Midgard serpent blush for shame, make even the Ourobouros worm swallow hard in disbelief. This snake-god, nucleotide, twice twisted, scaled in adenine and cytosine, in thymine and in guanine, is a one-man show, will be the actors, props and setting, be the apple and the garden both. The player bides his time, awaits his entrance to a drum-roll of igniting binaries. This is the only dance in town, this anaconda tango, this slow spiral up through time from witless dirt to paramecium, from blind mechanic organism to awareness. There, below the birthing stars, Life sways and improvises. Every poignant gesture drips with slapstick; pathos; an unbearably affecting bravery. To dare this stage, this huge and overwhelming venue. Squinting through the stellar footlights, hoping there's an audience, that there's someone out there, but dancing anyway. But dancing anyway.
Alan Moore (Snakes and Ladders)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
Better to forget, better to let go of the bitterness. I say bitterness is only good in medicine, or if you fry bitter gourd with egg, then it's dlicious. I told Lan-Lan many times, we have only one life, it's important to kua kwee, to look spaciously. Not keep the eyes so narrowed down to the small dispairs. Those people who say forgive and forget, I say they not right. Not so simple. I say, find right medicine. Bitterness must be just right for problem. Then swallow it, think of good things can do when no longer sick.
Lydia Kwa (This Place Called Absence)
Creatures of the Darkness BY VICKI JORDAN It was world of vampires and demons, where innocence was rare and so were the living. It was a world of darkness, where light had been outlawed and nightfall had swallowed us whole. An epic war had been fought, and the creatures of the dark had finally prevailed over the promoters of the light. Finally, for the first time in existence, the people of the shadows could come out and freely walk among one another in the rays of the dying sun, which had once been used to shun them away. A little girl, a child of the light, had survived the battle and crawled out from under the ashes of the destruction. She looked around at her altered world in dismay and confronted a vampire about the changes, of which she did not approve. “Why did you turn my world into a world of night, and make wrong into a new form of right? How could you make all the light disappear, and with it everyone I once loved so dear? Why are the shadows now the new sun, and why is everything lost what you have won?” The vampire looked down at the little girl with amusement and delight. “Because, little girl, this is the real world you see, where there’s no light to shine on false identities. We didn’t destroy the world just to scare; we simply uncovered what was already there. What has come out was all the darkness that was once hidden within, and you’ll soon meet the darkness in you once my fangs pierce your skin.” We are our own greatest fears…..
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
<…>His body shook as his grin spread to a smile. Then he asked, "You honestly think you can tackle me?" "I didn't say it would be a successful tackle." And then my husband burst out laughing. And I watched. He didn't give this to me often but I always watched. This time it was way better because he was doing it while still inside me. Then his laughter died to a chuckle, he dropped his forehead to mine and his hand came up and curled around the side of my neck. And when he did the last, the laughter died, his eyes held mine and he whispered, "Is my mama home?" I swallowed but I still knew my eyes got bright and my voice was husky when I whispered back, "Yes." He closed his eyes, shifted the lower half of his face and touched his mouth to mine. Then he lifted his head away, opened his eyes and I felt his thumb stroke my jaw. His gaze again locked with mine, he told me gently, "Missed you, baby." I swallowed again and my arms and legs tightened around him. "Me too."<…>
Kristen Ashley
We humans have known since time immemorial something that science is only now discovering: our gut feeling is responsible in no small measure for how we feel. We are “scared shitless” or we can be “shitting ourselves” with fear. If we don’t manage to complete a job, we can’t get our “ass in gear.” We “swallow” our disappointment and need time to “digest” a defeat. A nasty comment leaves a “bad taste in our mouth.” When we fall in love, we get “butterflies in our stomach.” Our self is created in our head and our gut—no longer just in language, but increasingly also in the lab.
Giulia Enders (Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ)
Why didn't you tell me?" he asked her after a small eternity. "I didn't--I didn't feel that way--until--so many things have happened..." Kaitlyn faltered. Of all things, she wanted to make Rob all right. Although now she saw that her love for him must have been changing for a long time, gradually, she didn't know how to explain that. "It's probaly just--I'll get over it. In a little while..." "Not that, you won't," Rob said. "Neither of you. I mean, I sure hope you don't." He sounded as incoherent as Kaitlyn felt, and he kept swallowing. But he went on doggedly, "Kait, I love you. You know I do. But this isn't something I can compete with." He stepped back. "I'm not blind. You two belong together.
L.J. Smith (Dark Visions (Dark Visions, #1-3))
It’s all as if words, phrases, images, syntax were small glass beads from a necklace which was wrenched from some neck and spilled on the floor and down the sides of sofa cushions and armchairs and under bookshelves and maybe swallowed by the cat. I’ve got to find all the glass pieces before I can even reorder the color sequence, and restring it and tie it tighter than before. There’s always a splendor in beginning all over. Even if it means getting on one’s knees to search beneath that bookshelf or prospecting through years of lint and ashes beneath those cushions. Even if it means breaking open that cat’s shit, which it conveniently has deposited in a plastic box, more orderly than any secretary could ever hope to be. Then I’ll appreciate the value of each bead – rather, each word and image – that much more, never wasting another. And I will, I swear to myself, get it all back in time, string it all together, tighter, as I said, than before.
Jim Carroll (Forced Entries- The Downtown Diaries: 1971-1973)
What?” Richardson snarled. “No smart retort, Mr. Gautier? Cat swallow your tongue?” Nick gave her a charming grin he didn’t really feel. “No, ma’am. A gator named Sense Formerly Known as Common.” Sneering at him, she tottered her way to her desk so that she could insult someone else and ruin their day. Caleb let out an annoyed breath. -Great,- he projected to Nick. -Now I have to get detention, too. I really hate you, Gautier.- Nick batted his eyelashes at Caleb. -But I wubs you, Caliboo.- That succeeded in wringing a groan out of Caleb. “What was that, Mr. Malphas?” Richardson asked. “Severe intestinal woe caused by an external hemorrhoid that seems to be growing on my right-hand side.” He cast a meaningful glower toward Nick. The class erupted into laughter as Richardson shot to her feet. “Enough!” She slammed her hands on her desk. “For that, Mr. Malphas, you can join Mr. Gautier in after-school detention.” Caleb let out an irritated sigh. --More quality time with my hemorrhoid. Just what I wanted for Christmas. Yippee ki-yay.--
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Instinct (Chronicles of Nick, #6))
It could have been anyone,” I said. “All the women who look at you when we go out. Ms. Bisette at school. God, even Hiyam. Why me?” He stared at the coffee table, the reflection of snow like confectioner’s sugar sifting down. “It couldn’t have been anyone,” he said softly. “For a long time before I met you, I felt my life was this kind of test. I was in deep, cold water, swimming for shore, and my arms were getting tired,my skin numb. On the shore was everything I thought I wanted: a better job, a house, a family.” He swallowed, his throat cording with tension. “But I could barely keep my head above water. Eventually I stopped seeing the shore. Only cold dark blue, in all directions. I know it’s cliché, but when I met you, my eyes opened. I looked around, and realized I could stand up whenever I wanted. There was firm ground under my feet. That shore in the distance was an illusion. I was already somewhere beautiful.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
Before such people can act together, a kind of telepathic feeling has to flow through them and ripen to the point when they all know that they are ready to begin. Anyone who has seen the martins and swallows in September, assembling on the telephone wires, twittering, making short flights singly and in groups over the open, stubbly fields, returning to form longer and even longer lines above the yellowing verges of the lanes-the hundreds of individual birds merging and blending, in a mounting excitement, into swarms, and these swarms coming loosely and untidily together to create a great, unorganized flock, thick at the centre and ragged at the edges, which breaks and re-forms continually like clouds or waves-until that moment when the greater part (but not all) of them know that the time has come: they are off, and have begun once more that great southward flight which many will not survive; anyone seeing this has seen at the work the current that flows (among creatures who think of themselves primarily as part of a group and only secondarily, if at all, as individuals) to fuse them together and impel them into action without conscious thought or will: has seen at work the angel which drove the First Crusade into Antioch and drives the lemmings into the sea.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
She asked God, without fear, if he really believed that people were made of iron in order to bear so many troubles and mortifications; and asking over and over she was stirring up her own confusion and she felt irrepressible desires to let herself go and scamper about like a foreigner and allow herself at last an instant of rebellion, that instant yearned for so many times and so many times postponed, putting her resignation aside and shitting on everything once and for all and drawing out of her heart the infinite stacks of bad words that she had been forced to swallow over a century of conformity.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Nehemia stared at him for a long moment before nodding. "You have power in you, Prince. More power than you realize." She touched his chest, tracing a symbol there, too, and some of the court ladies gasped. But Nehemia's eyes were locked on his. "It sleeps," she whispered, tapping his heart. "In here. When the time comes, when it awakens, do not be afraid." She removed her hand and gave him a sad smile. "When it is time, I will help you." With that, she walked away, the courtiers parting, then swallowing up her wake. He stared after the princess, wondering what her last words had meant. And why, when she had said them, something ancient and slumbering deep inside of him had opened an eye.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
I know why she stormed out of here." Decebel's and Jacque's heads both whipped around. "You do?" they both asked at the same time. Fane raised an eyebrow at Sally's words. Sally in turn eyeballed Decebel. "Jen never really learned how to use an inside voice. So, Decebel, why don't you share how she asked you if you were involved with Crina, and how you never really gave her an answer but instead taunted her, and then nearly made her hyperventilate with desire." Decebel's head cocked to the side, his eyebrows drawn together. "How -" "I would say it's a gift, but really I'm just nosy as hell. And damn, boy, the look you were giving her nearly had me in a puddle." "Shut up!" Jacque squealed. "Are you telling me Jen stormed out of here because he got her all hot and bothered?" Sally was grinning from ear to ear. Decebel looked like he would be perfectly happy if the universe would just swallow him whole. "She was angry when she left," Decebel defended. "She left because she was mad." "Yeah, mad because she's got it bad for you, Sherlock," Sally told him, rolling her eyes. "Really? She likes me?" Jacque laughed at Decebel's cocky smile. "Um, if you aren't her mate that's not a good thing, Casanova," Jacque reminded him. Sally nodded in agreement, scrutinizing Decebel. "Let's just hope that she finds her mate at Mate Fest so she can get over you." Decebel took a step towards Sally. Fane stepped around Jacque and laid a hand on Decebel's chest, stopping him. "Easy, Beta." Decebel closed his eyes taking slow breaths, leashing his wolf. Then Sally's words worked past the jealous fog. "Mate Fest?" he questioned. Sally grinned. "Jen deemed it." "Naturally," Decebel muttered with a slight smile.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
When I was a young man and very well thought of, I couldn't ask aught that the ladies denied. I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins, And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them know The secret I shelter and savor and save I wait for the one who will see through my seeming, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens; The ladies went by me like snow on the wind. I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled, And I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them see There's part of me pure as the whisk of a wave. My lady is late but she'll find I've been faithful, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' At last came a lady both knowing and tender, Saying, 'you're not at all what they take you to be.' I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking, And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea. And I say to myself when there's time for a word, As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved, 'Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Did you really think you could quit?" He moved closer, his steps slow, purposeful. "Just fax me a damned piece of paper and I‘d be forced to let you walk away from me?" "You don‘t have a choice." Lydia swallowed the lump in her throat and moved around the chair. Putting furniture between them seemed like a smart idea. "I quit, end of story." "The hell it is," he growled as he stopped and crossed his arms over his chest. "I‘ve given you space, Lydia, but it‘s time we talk." "There‘s nothing to say." He pointedly glanced at the chair and quirked a brow. "Afraid, little Lydia?" Afraid of her own ability to keep her hands off him, yeah. "You don‘t scare me, Dane. You‘d never hurt me." "Then quit acting so skittish and come here.
Anne Rainey (Body Rush (Masters of Pleasure, #1))
Every time you feel sad and swallow down your tears, you abandon yourself. If somebody hurts you and you pretend that you are fine, you abandon yourself. Every time you don’t eat, or fail to feed yourself, you abandon yourself. If you are tired, but refuse to rest, you abandon yourself. If you drink too much and poison yourself with alcohol, you abandon yourself. If you don’t ask for what you need from somebody with whom you are intimate, you abandon yourself. The times when you resent putting somebody else’s needs before your own are the times when you are abandoning yourself. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, you abandon yourself.
Sally Brampton (Shoot The Damn Dog: A Memoir Of Depression)
If I say it, will you say it too?" I asked, swallowing hard, even though my mouth was dry. I willed him silently not to joke around or say anything that could hurt me. "Yes, but I need to hear you say it first," he answered with a voice filled with tension. "What are you, four? Why can't we just say it at the same time?" I asked, panicking. "Because that's stupid. And when I was four, I said it by licking your Fruit Roll-Up. Why can't you just say it? Don't you trust me?" "Why do you always get to decide who does what? I let you lift, and I wiped!" "You're comparing us declaring our love for each other to wiping a baby's ass?!" "Ah Ha! You said it!" I announced victoriously. "I did not! I was saying it generally! That's different than saying it!" "You said 'declaring our love'!" "That's different than saying 'I love you'!" "Ah ha!" I cried again. "Oh Jesus H. Christ! Who's the one who's four?! Will you just say it, woman?!" "Fine! I love you, you asshole!" "I love you too, you nutty broad!
N.M. Silber (Legal Briefs (Lawyers in Love, #3))
Once upon a time, there was only darkness, and there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it. They were the Gibborium, and they loved the darkness because it concealed their hideousness. Whenever some other creature contrived to make light, they would extinguish it. When stars were born, they swallowed them, and it seemed that darkness would be eternal. But a race of bright warriors heard of the Gibborium and traveled from their far world to do battle with them. The war was long, light against dark, and many warriors were slain. In the end, when they vanquished the monsters, there were a hundred left alive, and these hundred were the godstars, who brought light to the universe. They made the rest of the stars, including our sun, and there was no more darkness, only endless light. They made children in their image- seraphim - and sent them down to beat light to the worlds that spun in space, and all was good. But one day, the last of the Gibborium, who was called Zamzumin, persuaded them that shadows were needed, that they would make the light seem brighter by contrast, and so the godstars brought shadows into being. But Zamzumin was a trickster. He needed only a shred of darkness to work with. He breathed life into the shadows, and as the godstars had made the seraphim in their own image, so did Zamzumin make the chimaera in his, and so they were hideous, and forever after the seraphim would fight on the side of light, and the chimaera for dark, and they would be enemies until the end of the world.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
When the fight ends you can afford to relax. That’s the worst part. Winner or loser you have again eyes to see around you. Blood, butchered bodies, bodies pierced by arrows. You stir inside, your heart tightens, the feeling of loss wells up. The sense of smell is the next thing to revive, adding a new dimension of pain. I closed the eyes of the last cadet, blue eyes, unseeing, his body, so small, almost a child, the youngest cadets were all gone, their faces surprised in death. Cold lips never able again to kiss a girl. It’s then that the emptiness swallows you and you mourn inside. Damn you, Scharon. No! Damn you, Travellers.
Florian Armas (Io Deceneus: Journal of a Time Traveler (The Living Universe, #1))
Day followed day, and night followed night, until Dany knew she could not endure a moment longer. She would kill herself rather than go on, she decided one night... Yet when she slept that night, she dreamt the dragon dream again. Viserys was not in it this time. There was only her and the dragon. Its scales were black as night, wet and slick with blood. Her blood, Dany sensed. Its eyes were pools of molten magma and when it opened its mouth, the flame came roaring out in a hot jet. She could hear it singing to her. She opened her arms to the fire, embraced it, let it swallow her whole, let it cleanse her and temper her and scour her clean. She could feel her flesh sear and blacken and slough away, could feel her blood boil and turn to steam, and yet there was no pain. She felt strong and new and fierce. And the next day, strangely, she did not seem to hurt quite as much.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Show up for your own life, he said. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle-feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant-gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about conciousness, so honor that consciousness. Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with wilful oblivion. Try to notice something new everyday, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like; notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet fell like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbours, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
I don't get it?" she asked "I don't get it? Let me tell you something about what I get. You think you're so smart? I spent three years on a full academic scholarship at the best college-prep school in the country. And when they kicked me out I had to petition-petition!-to keep them from wiping out my four-point-oh transcript." Daniel moved away, but Luce pursued him, taking a step forward for every wide-eyed step he took back. Probably freaking him out, but so what? He'd been asking for it every time he condescended to her. "I know Latin and French, and in middle school, I won the science fair three years in a row." She had backed him up against the railing of the boardwalk and was trying to restrain herself from poking him in the chest with her finger. She wasn't finished. "I also do the Sunday crossword puzzle, sometimes in under an hour. I have an unerringly good sense of direction... though not always when it comes to guys." She swallowed and took a moment to catch her breath. "And someday, I'm going to be a psychiatrist who actually listens to her patients and helps people. Okay? So don't keep talking to me like I'm stupid and don't tell me I don't understand just because I can't decode your erratic, flaky, hot-one-minute-cold-the-next, frankly"-she looked up at him, letting out her breath-"really hurtful behavior." She brushed a tear away, angry with herself for getting so worked up.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
Courage It is in the small things we see it. The child's first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone. When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it. Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to cover your heart. You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there. Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing. If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
Anne Sexton
There are times like that, Bailey. Times you don't think you can take it anymore. But then you discover that you can. You always do. You're tough. You'll take a deep breath, swallow just a little bit more, endure just a little longer, and eventually you'll get your second wind,” Fern said, her smile wobbly and her teary eyes contradicting her encouraging words. Bailey nodded, agreeing with her, but there were tears in his eyes too. “But there are times when you just need to acknowledge the shit, Fern, you know?” Fern nodded, squeezing his hand a little tighter. “Yep. And that's okay, too.” “You just need to acknowledge it. Face the shit.” Bailey's voice grew stronger, strident even. “Accept the truth in it. Own it, wallow in it, become one with the shit.” Bailey sighed, the heavy mood lifting with his insistence on profanity. Swearing could be very therapeutic. Fern smiled wanly. “Become one with the shit?” “Yes! If that's what it takes.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
I grew up back and forth between the British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales. I spent short periods of time in France, Italy, and South Africa. This is my first time in the States. I was disappointed by Atlanta at first — I'd wanted to live in New York-but it's grown on me.” Everything about Kaidan was exciting and exotic. This was my first time traveling away from home, and he'd already seen so much. I ate my apple, glad it was crisp and not soft. “Which was your favorite place?” I asked. “I've never been terribly attached to any place. I guess it would have to be...here.” I stopped midchew and examined his face. He wouldn't look at me. He was clenching his jaw, tense. Was he serious or was he teasing me? I swallowed my bite. “The Texas panhandle?” I asked. “No.” He seemed to choose each word with deliberate care. “I mean here in this car. With you.” Covered in goose bumps, I looked away from him and stared straight ahead at the road, letting my hand with the apple fall to my lap. He cleared his throat and tried to explain. “I've not talked like this with anyone, not since I started working, not even to the only four people in the world who I call friends. You have Patti, and even that boyfriend of yours. So this has been a relief of sort. Kind of...nice.” He cleared his throat again. Oh, my gosh. Did we just have a moment? I proceeded with caution, hoping not to ruin it. “It's been nice for me, too,” I said. “I've never told Jay anything. He has no idea. You're the only one I've talked to about it all, except Patti, but it's not the same. She learned the basics from the nun at the convent where I was born.” “You were born in a convent,” he stated. “Yes.” “Naturally.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I was a fool!" Percy roared,so loudly that Lupin nearly dropped his photograph. "I was a pompous prat, I was a- a-" "Ministry loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron," said Fred. Percy swallowed. "Yes, I was!" "Well, you can't say fairer than that," said Fred, holding out his hand to Percy. Mrs Weasley burst into tears. She ran forwards, pushed Fred aside and pulled Percy into a strangling hug, while he patted her on the back, his eyes on his father. "I'm sorry, Dad," Percy said. Mr Weasley blinked rather rapidly, then he, too, hurried to hug his son. "What made you see sence, Perce?" enquired George. " It's been coming on for a while," said Percy, mopping his eyes under his glasses with a corner of his travelling cloak. "But I had to find a way out and it's not so easy at the Ministry, they're imprisoning traitors all the time. I managed to make contact with Aberforth and he tipped me off ten minutes ago that Hogwarts was going to make a fight of it, so here I am." "Well, we do look to our prefects to take a lead at times such as these," said George, in a good imitation of Percy's most pompous manner. "Now let's get upstairs and fight, or all the good Death Eaters''ll be taken.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
These Cro-Magnon people were identical to us: they had the same physique, the same brain, the same looks. And, unlike all previous hominids who roamed the earth, they could choke on food. That may seem a trifling point, but the slight evolutionary change that pushed man's larynx deeper into his throat, and thus made choking a possibility, also brought with it the possibility of sophisticated, well articulated speech. Other mammals have no contact between their air passages and oesophagi. They can breathe and swallow at the same time, and there is no possibility of food going down the wrong way. But with Homo sapiens food and drink must pass over the larynx on the way to the gullet and thus there is a constant risk that some will be inadvertently inhaled. In modern humans, the lowered larynx isn't in position from birth. It descends sometime between the ages of three and five months - curiously, the precise period when babies are likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. At all events, the descended larynx explains why you can speak and your dog cannot.
Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way)
Brambleclaw's tail filicked angrily. "Did there have to be so many lies?" He was staring at Squirrelflight. "Couldn't you have told me the truth?" Squirrelflight dipped her head. "It was never my secret to tell. Leafpool had so much to lose". "She lost everything anyway", Brambleclaw snarled. "No, I didn't". Leafpool lifted her muzzle. "I watched my kits grow into fine warrior, and I still serve my Clan with all my heart". Lionblaze felt his heart prick. Perhaps this was the truth that was most important. Leafpool had sacrificed so much and, even though her kits rejected her time and again, she'd never stopped loving them. In his darkest moments, he couldn't deny that. "Brambleclaw, I'm sorry". Squirrelflight moved closer to the ThunderClan deputy. Her voice was stronger now, as if she was tired of being punished for something she had believed to be right. "You have to understand that I never intended to hurt you. I loved you, and was proud to raise these kits with you. You were a wonderful father". "But I wasn't their father!" Brambleclaw hissed. "Yes, you were!" Squirrelflight thrust her muzzle close to Brambleclaw's. Her eyes blazed. "Don't throw away everything just because you are angry with me!" Lionblaze swallowed. "I was so proud to be your son". Brambleclaw looked at him in surprise, as if he'd forgotton Lionblaze was there. Something in the deputy's expression changed. "And I couldn't have asked for a better son. And you Jayfeather. Or a better daughter, Hollyleaf." Hollyleaf opened her mouth as if to protest, but Brambleclaw spoke first. "You played no part in this deception, I know that. Whatever you did, it was because of the lies taht had been told when you were born." "It was my fault alone," Leafpool meowed quietly. "You are wrong to blame Squirrelflight. She was just being loyal to me. And now that we know about the prophecy, surely the only thing that matters is that these kits were accepted by their Clan? It's not about us, after all. It's about them. Their destinies shaped ours, right from the moment they were born." Squirrelflight nodded. "Everything was meant to be". Lionblaze looked down at his paws. If these cats could accept their destinies, then he had enough courage to accept his. I am one of the Four.
Erin Hunter (The Last Hope (Warriors: Omen of the Stars, #6))
If there was a religion of Annaism, and I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears. Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn't, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn't tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they'd never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness. The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn't fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
His mouth comes down on mine, harder now, more demanding, a raw, hungry need in him rising to the surface. “You belong to me,” he growls. “Say it.” “Yes. Yes, I belong to you.” His mouth finds mine again, demanding, taking, drawing me under his spell. “Say it again,” he demands, nipping my lip, squeezing my breast and nipple, and sending a ripple of pleasure straight to my sex. “I belong to you,” I pant. He lifts me off the ground with the possessive curve of his hand around my backside, angling my hips to thrust harder, deeper. “Again,” he orders, driving into me, his cock hitting the farthest point of me and blasting against sensitive nerve endings. “Oh … ah … I … I belong to you.” His mouth dips low, his hair tickling my neck, his teeth scraping my shoulders at the same moment he pounds into me and the world spins around me, leaving nothing but pleasure and need and more need. I am suddenly hot only where he touches, and freezing where I yearn to be touched. Lifting my leg, I shackle his hip, ravenous beyond measure, climbing to the edge of bliss, reaching for it at the same time I’m trying desperately to hold back. Chris is merciless, wickedly wild, grinding and rocking, pumping. “I love you, Sara,” he confesses hoarsely, taking my mouth, swallowing the shallow, hot breath I release, and punishing me with a hard thrust that snaps the last of the lightly held control I possess. Possessing me. A fire explodes low in my belly and spirals downward, seizing my muscles, and I begin to spasm around his shaft, trembling with the force of my release. With a low growl, his muscles ripple beneath my touch and his cock pulses, his hot semen spilling inside me. We moan together, lost in the climax of a roller-coaster ride of pain and pleasure, spanning days apart, and finally collapse in a heap and just lie there. Slowly, I let my leg ease from his hip to the ground, and Chris rolls me to my side to face him. Still inside me, he holds me close, pulling the jacket up around my back, trailing fingers over my jaw. “And I belong to you.
Lisa Renee Jones (Being Me (Inside Out, #2))
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Though she would have preferred long ago to have died, fled, gotten it all over with, the body--Jesus, how the body!--took its time. It possessed its own wishes and nostalgias. You could not just turn neatly into light and slip out the window. You couldn't go like that. Within one's own departing but stubborn flesh, there was only the long, sentimental, piecemeal farewell. Sir? A towel. Is there a towel? The body, hauling sadness, pursued the soul, hobbled after. The body was like a sweet, dim dog trotting lamely toward the gate as you tried slowly to drive off, out the long driveway. Take me, take me, too, barked the dog. Don't go, don't go, it said, running along the fence, almost keeping pace but not quite, its reflection a shrinking charm in the car mirrors as you trundled past the viburnium, past the pin grove, past the property line, past every last patch of land, straight down the swallowing road, disappearing and disappearing. Until at last it was true: you had disappeared.
Lorrie Moore (Birds of America: Stories)
I turn to look at him. His face is smooth, without the blotches and spots that have begun to afflict the other boys. His features are drawn with a firm hand; nothing awry or sloppy, nothing too large—all precise, cut with the sharpest of knives. And yet the effect itself is not sharp. He turns and finds me looking at him. “What?” he says. “Nothing.” I can smell him. The oils that he uses on his feet, pomegranate and sandalwood; the salt of clean sweat; the hyacinths we had walked through, their scent crushed against our ankles. Beneath it all is his own smell, the one I go to sleep with, the one I wake up to. I cannot describe it. It is sweet, but not just. It is strong but not too strong. Something like almond, but that still is not right. Sometimes, after we have wrestled, my own skin smells like it. He puts a hand down, to lean against. The muscles in his arms curve softly, appearing and disappearing as he moves. His eyes are deep green on mine. My pulse jumps, for no reason I can name. He has looked at me a thousand thousand times, but there is something different in this gaze, an intensity I do not know. My mouth is dry, and I can hear the sound of my throat as I swallow. He watches me. It seems that he is waiting. I shift, an infinitesimal movement, towards him. It is like the leap from a waterfall. I do not know, until then, what I am going to do. I lean forward and our lips land clumsily on each other. They are like the fat bodies of bees, soft and round and giddy with pollen. I can taste his mouth—hot and sweet with honey from dessert. My stomach trembles, and a warm drop of pleasure spreads beneath my skin. More.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
What do you envision for your future, Anna?” His abrupt question struck a nerve in me. It was the same question I'd been asking myself for months. “I don't know,” I said. “I used to know what I wanted, but not anymore.” He considered this, watching me with curiosity. “What did you want?” I reached down and touched the water. “A family, mostly.” “And you no longer want that?” I dried my hands on my jeans, trying not to get emotional. At one time, I wanted a loving husband and a houseful of kids more than anything in the world. But I'd let go of those dreams. I couldn't even adopt a child. What would the Dukes say if they caught me playing house? “I can't have those things,” I told him, still avoiding his stare. “And I'm tired of wanting things I can't have.” His voice was low when he responded. “Perhaps children are out of the question, but you could still have a husband, in secret.” My eyes flew up to his, and my skin sizzled as his words settled over me. I opened my mouth, but couldn't speak. His light eyes played chicken with mine, not backing down from his claim. “It's too dangerous,” I said. “You are young.” He didn't state it in a condescending way, but I still bristled. “Someday you may agree that there are dangers worth facing.” I swallowed, wishing my crazy heart would stop trying to break out of my rib cage.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
And are you thirsty,” she asked, “or were you merely being polite?” “I am always polite,” he said with a wicked grin, “but I am thirsty as well.” Kate took one look at that grin, lethally combined with those devastating green eyes, and nearly groaned. “You are a rake as well,” she said with a sigh. Colin choked— on what, she did not know, but he choked nonetheless. “I beg your pardon?” Kate’s face flushed as she realized with horror that she’d spoken aloud. “No, it is I who should beg your pardon. Please forgive me. That was unforgivably rude.” “No, no,” he said quickly, looking terribly interested and not a little bit amused, “do continue.” Kate swallowed. There was really no way to get out of it now. “I was merely—” She cleared her throat. “If I might be frank . . .” He nodded, his sly grin telling her that he could not imagine her being anything but frank. Kate cleared her throat yet again. Really, this was getting ridiculous. She was starting to sound as if she’d swallowed a toad. “It had occurred to me that you might be rather like your brother, that is all.” “My brother?” “The viscount,” she said, thinking it must be obvious. “I have three brothers,” he explained. “Oh.” Now she felt stupid. “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry, too,” he said with great feeling. “Most of the time they’re a dreadful nuisance.” -Kate & Colin
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
You aren't like your mom." "I am.But I don't want to be like that anymore,I want what I want." He turns to me again,his face anxious. "I told my father's friends that I'm studying at Berkeley next year.It worked.He's really,really angry with me,but it worked.You told me to go for his pride.You were right." "So." I'm cautious,hardly daring to believe. "You're moving to California?" "I have to." "Right." I swallow hard. "Because of your mom." "Because of you. I'll only be a twenty-minute train ride from your school,and I'll make the commute to see you every night.I'd take a commute ten times that just to be with you every night." His words are too perfect.It must be a misunderstanding,surely I'm misunderstanding- "You're the most incredible girl I've ever known.You're gorgeous and smart, and you make my laugh like no one else can.And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don't deserve you,but what I'm trying to say is that I love you,Anna.Very much." I'm holding my breath.I can't talk,but my eyes are filling with tears. He takes it the wrong way. "Oh God.And I've mucked things up again,haven't I? I didn't mean to attack you like this.I mean I did but...all right." His voice cracks. "I'll leave.Or you can go down first,and then I'll come down,and I promise I'll never bother you again-" He starts to stand,but I grab his arm. "No!" His body freezes. "I'm so sorry," he says. "I never mean to hurt you." I trail my fingers across his cheek. He stays perfectly still for me. "Please stop apologizing,Etienne." "Say my name again," he whispers. I close my eyes and lean forward. "Etienne." He takes my hands into his.Those pefect hands,that fit mine just so. "Anna?" Our foreheads touch. "Yes?" "Will you please tell me you love me? I'm dying here." And then we're laughing.And them I'm in his arms,and we're kissing,at first quickly-to make up for lost time-and then slowly,because we have all the time in the world.And his lips are soft and honey sweet,and the careful, passionate way he moves them against my own says that he savors the way I taste,too. And in between kisses,I tell him I love him. Again and again and again.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Yes, this sudden transmutation in the order of things seems to enhance our pleasure, as if consecrating the unchanging nature of a ritual established over our afternoons together, a ritual that has ripened into a solid and meaningful reality. Today, because it has been transgressed, our ritual suddenly acquires all its power; we are tasting the splendid gift of this unexpected morning as if it were some precious nectar; ordinary gestures have an extraordinary resonance, as we breathe in the fragrance of the tea, savor it, lower our cups, serve more, and sip again: every gesture has the bright aura of rebirth. At moments like this the web of life is revealed by the power of ritual, and each time we renew our ceremony, the pleasure will be all the greater for our having violated one of its principles. Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time. Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn - and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
You don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “That’s why you don’t understand. You don’t know what I used to be like. You don’t know what it was like in my head. I lived in a really dark place,” I say to him. “I wasn’t safe in my own mind. I woke up every morning hoping to die and then spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe I was already dead because I couldn’t even tell the difference,” I say, more harshly than I mean to. “I had a small thread of hope and I clung to it, but the majority of my life was spent waiting around to see if someone would take pity on me.” Kenji is just staring at me, his eyes tight. “Don’t you think I’ve realized,” I say to him, angrier now, “that if I’d allowed myself to get mad a long time ago, I would’ve discovered I had the strength to break through that asylum with my own two hands?” Kenji flinches. “Don’t you think that I think about that, all the time?” I ask him, my voice shaking. “Don’t you think it kills me to know that it was my own unwillingness to recognize myself as a human being that kept me trapped for so long? For two hundred and sixty-four days, Kenji,” I say, swallowing hard. “Two hundred and sixty-four days I was in there and the whole time, I had the power to break myself out and I didn’t, because I had no idea I could. Because I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward,” I say, “who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself. “This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.
Tahereh Mafi
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes. "His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning." "Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?" "Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you." "But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued. "My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job." I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again. "I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?" "No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything." I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you." "But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh. "No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough." "You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight. "Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will." The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard. "And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even." He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe. "But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much." "On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give." I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else. "I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment. I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. "Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan. "I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs. Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone. "You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?" Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation. "I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
There are psychologists who think that consciousness accompanies brain processes and is determined by them but doesn't itself exert any influence on them. Something like the reflection of a tree in water; it couldn't exist without the tree, but it doesn't in any way affect he tree. I think it's all stuff and nonsense to say that there can be love without passion; when people say love can endure after passion is dead they're talking of something else, affection, kindliness, community of taste and interest, and habit . . . Of course there can be desire without love. Desire isn't passion. Desire is the natural consequence of the sexual instinct . . . That's why women are foolish to make a song and dance if their husbands have an occasional flutter when the time and place are propitious . . . what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose . . . Unless love is passion, it's not love, but something else; and passion thrives not on satisfaction but impediment . . . When passion seizes the heart it invents reasons that seem not only plausible but conclusive to prove that the world is well lost for love. It convinces you that honor is well sacrificed and that shame is a cheap price to pay. Passion is destructive . . . and if it doesn't destroy it dies. It may be then that one is faced with the desolation of knowing that one has wasted the years of one's life, that one's brought disgrace upon oneself, endured the frightful pang of jealousy, swallowed every bitter mortification, that one's expended all one's tenderness, poured out all the riches of one's soul on a poor drab, a fool, a peg on which one hung one's dreams, who wasn't worth a stick of chewing gum.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
Who else knows about this besides us?” “Just Patti...” “Okay. That should be okay. Is that it?” “And Kaidan,” I added. My eyes darted everywhere but his face. I was in for it. “Who?” There was an edge to his voice. His eyes searched mine. I didn't want to tell him a single thing about Kaidan. I knew how it would sound. I took my hands from his, pulling the braid over my shoulder to mess with it. “He's my friend. He's the one who drove me here to see you.” “You told some human kid?” I coughed, buying time. “He's Neph, too.” Jonathan LaGray went rigid and his ruddy cheeks paled. I squirmed as his eyes bored into mine. “Which one's his father?” he asked through clenched teeth. “Richard Rowe. I guess you'd know him as Pharzuph.” Oh, boy. He wasn't pale anymore. “You came across the country—” “Shhh!” I warned him as people looked over. He lowered his voice to a shouted whisper. “-with the son of the Duke of Lust? Son of a—” He pounded a fist down on the table and a guard stepped toward us. I waved and nodded at the man, trying to reassure him it was fine, and my father pulled his balled hands down into his lap. After a moment the guard walked back to the wall and looked away. “Don't worry!” I whispered. “I told you; we're just friends.” He closed his eyes and massaged his forehead with his fingers to calm his temper. “You tell him that his father is never to know about you or whatever Sister Ruth tells you. Understand?” “He would never tell his father anything. But, um...” I swallowed. “Unfortunately, Pharzuph already knows about me.” His eyes flashed red again and it nearly stopped my heart. I pressed my back into the seat, causing it to wobble. “Aren't you worried people will see your eyes when you do that?” I asked, sure that my own eyes were gigantic at that moment. “Humans can't see it. And don't try to change the subject. I know Pharzuph,” he growled. “He's a real bastard on earth and in hell. He'd do anything to gain favour.” “Kaidan thinks he'll forget about me if I lie low.” “Maybe momentarily, while he's busy or distracted with his work, but you'll cross his mind again someday.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it. “This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam. Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him. That was this kiss. They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips. Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window. He did not understand anything. It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible. He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Involved. At least that was the right word, Alsana reflected, as she liftes her foot off the pedal, and let the wheel spin a few times alone before coming to a squeaky halt. Sometimes, here in England, especially at bus-stops and on the daytime soaps, you heard people say “We’re involved with each other,” as if this were a most wonderful state to be in, as if one chose it and enjoyed it. Alsana never thought of it that way. Involved happened over a long period of time, pulling you in like quicksand. Involved is what befell the moon-faced Alsana Begum and the handsome Samad Miah one week after they’d been pushed into a Delhi breakfast room together and informed they were to marry. Involved was the result when Clara Bowden met Archie Jones at the bottom of some stairs. Involved swallowed up a girl called Ambrosia and a boy called Charlie (yes, Clara had told her that sorry tale) the second they kissed in the larder of a guest house. Involved is neither good, nor bad. It is just a consequence of living, a consequence of occupation and immigration, of empires and expansion, of living in each other’s pockets… one becomes involved and it is a long trek back to being uninvolved. And the woman was right, one didn’t do it for one’s health. Nothing this late in the century was done with health in mind. Alsana was no dummy when it came to the Modern Condition. She watched the talk shows, all day long she watched the talk shows — My wife slept with my brother, My mother won’t stay out of my boyfriend’s life — and the microphone holder, whether it be Tanned Man with White Teeth or Scary Married Couple, always asked the same damn silly question: But why do you feel the need…? Wrong! Alsana had to explain it to them through the screen. You blockhead; they are not wanting this, they are not willing it — they are just involved, see? They walk IN and they get trapped between the revolving doors of those two v’s. Involved. Just a tired inevitable fact. Something in the way Joyce said it, involved — wearied, slightly acid — suggested to Alsana that the word meant the same thing to hear. An enormous web you spin to catch yourself.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
So look," he began, leaning over the desk, "I was—" "Excuse me?" Bethany said. Her voice was loud, even. Wes turned and looked at her. As he did so, I watched his profile, his arm, that little bit of the heart in hand peeking out from his sleeve. "We can help you over here," Bethany said to him. "Did you have a question?" "Um, sort of," Wes said, glancing at me, a mild smile on his face. "But—" "I can answer it," Bethany said solidly, so confidently. Amanda, beside her, nodded, seconding this. "Really, it's fine," he said, then looked at me again. He raised his eyebrows, and I just shrugged. "Okay, so—" "She's only a trainee, she won't know the answer," Bethany told him, pushing her chair over closer to where he was, her voice too loud, bossy even. "It's better if you ask me. Or ask us." Then, and only then, did I see the tiniest flicker of annoyance on Wes's face. "You know," Wes said, "I think she'll know it." "She won't. Ask me." Now it wasn't just a flicker. Wes looked at me, narrowing his eyes, and for a second I just stared back. Whatever happens, I thought, happens. For the first time, time at the info desk was flying. "Okay," he said slowly, moving down the counter. He leaned on his elbows, closer to Bethany, and she sat up even straighter, readying herself, like someone onJeopardy awaiting the Daily Double. "So here's my question." Amanda picked up a pen, as if there might be a written portion. "Last night," Wes said, his voice serious, "when the supplies were being packed up, what happened to the big tongs?" The sick part was that Bethany, for a second, looked as if she was actually flipping through her mental Rolodex for the answer. I watched her swallow, then purse her lips. "Well," she said. But that was all. I could feel myself smiling. A real smile. Wes looked at Amanda. "Do you know?" Amanda shook her head slowly. "All right," he said, turning back to look at me. "Better ask the trainee, then. Macy?" I could feel Amanda and Bethany looking at me. "They're in the bottom of that cart with the broken back wheel, under the aprons," I said. "There wasn't room for them with the other serving stuff.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Another sob came, harder than the first, but she couldn't cover her face and her mastectomy scars at the same time when he raised his head. When she tried, Luke merely caught her wrists and lightly pinned them on either side of her head. "It's all right, Em. Tears are part of this," he whispered, bending to kiss them away. He moved gently within her, another tender caress that soothed as much as it stimulated. It broke the seal on the dam of her tears. They came out in a quiet rush while he stayed above her, eyes on her face as he murmured soothing things she didn't quite catch. And when the tears slowed, she looked up into his handsome face with a sniffle and the smile he gave her filled her heart to overflowing. Dear God she loved him. Had always loved him and would never love another man but him. Her heart had known it all along. And so had her body. Still, she tensed when he released one of her wrists to touch the skin beneath her right collarbone. Luke shook his dark head, those liquid eyes looking right into her soul. "I won't let you hide from me. Or from yourself." Embedded deep inside her, he raised his upper body to gaze at her, and all she could do was close her eyes in resistance. "Look at me." After a long hesitation, she did. He stared down at her with a powerful mixture of tenderness and hunger. "You think a scar's going to change how I see you? Feel about you?" She swallowed and struggled to find her voice. "It's ugly." "You're beautiful to me, Em. Always." She opened her mouth to say something but he leaned down to kiss her again. "Give me your hand," he coaxed, his voice a seductive whisper. She did, tentatively, and his fingers closed around hers in a warm grip. Strong and reassuring. "Accept who you are. Be proud of your body. It's fighting a war for you.
Kaylea Cross
One night, very late, he rubs Willem's shoulder and when Willem opens his eyes, he apologizes to him. But Willem shakes his head, and then moves on top of him, and holds him so tightly that he finds it difficult to breathe. “You hold me back,” Willem tells him. “Pretend we're falling and we're clinging together from fear.” He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from his back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. “Harder,” Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes…through the fourth floor...and then to the ground floor, and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossils and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one. When he wakes the next morning, Willem is no longer on top of him but beside him, but they are still intertwined, and he feels slightly drugged, and relieved, for he has not only not cut himself but he has slept, deeply, two things he hasn't done in months. That morning he feels fresh-scrubbed and cleansed, as if he is being given yet another opportunity to live his life correctly.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
But there is an unbounded pleasure to be had in the possession of a young, newly blossoming soul! It is like a flower, from which the best aroma evaporates when meeting the first ray of the sun; you must pluck it at that minute, breathing it in until you’re satisfied, and then throw it onto the road: perhaps someone will pick it up! I feel this insatiable greed, which swallows everything it meets on its way. I look at the suffering and joy of others only in their relation to me, as though it is food that supports the strength of my soul. I myself am not capable of going mad under the influence of passion. My ambition is stifled by circumstances, but it has manifested itself in another way, for ambition is nothing other than a thirst for power, and my best pleasure is to subject everyone around me to my will, to arouse feelings of love, devotion and fear of me—is this not the first sign and the greatest triumph of power? Being someone’s reason for suffering while not being in any position to claim the right—isn’t this the sweetest nourishment for our pride? And what is happiness? Sated pride. If I considered myself to be better, more powerful than everyone in the world, I would be happy. If everyone loved me, I would find endless sources of love within myself. Evil spawns evil. The first experience of torture gives an understanding of the pleasure in tormenting others. An evil idea cannot enter a person’s head without his wanting to bring it into reality: ideas are organic creations, someone once said. Their birth gives them form immediately, and this form is an action. The person in whom most ideas are born is the person who acts most. Hence a genius, riveted to his office desk, must die or lose his mind, just as a man with a powerful build who has a sedentary life and modest behavior will die from an apoplectic fit. Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea: they are a characteristic of the heart’s youth, and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool: many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall, but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea. And this calm is often the sign of great, though hidden, strength. The fullness and depth of both feeling and thought will not tolerate violent upsurges. The soul, suffering and taking pleasure, takes strict account of everything and is always convinced that this is how things should be. It knows that without storms, the constant sultriness of the sun would wither it. It is infused with its own life—it fosters and punishes itself, like a child. And it is only in this higher state of self-knowledge that a person can estimate the value of divine justice.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
When The Matrix debuted in 1999, it was a huge box-office success. It was also well received by critics, most of whom focused on one of two qualities—the technological (it mainstreamed the digital technique of three-dimensional “bullet time,” where the on-screen action would freeze while the camera continued to revolve around the participants) or the philosophical (it served as a trippy entry point for the notion that we already live in a simulated world, directly quoting philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 reality-rejecting book Simulacra and Simulation). If you talk about The Matrix right now, these are still the two things you likely discuss. But what will still be interesting about this film once the technology becomes ancient and the philosophy becomes standard? I suspect it might be this: The Matrix was written and directed by “the Wachowski siblings.” In 1999, this designation meant two brothers; as I write today, it means two sisters. In the years following the release of The Matrix, the older Wachowski (Larry, now Lana) completed her transition from male to female. The younger Wachowski (Andy, now Lilly) publicly announced her transition in the spring of 2016. These events occurred during a period when the social view of transgender issues radically evolved, more rapidly than any other component of modern society. In 1999, it was almost impossible to find any example of a trans person within any realm of popular culture; by 2014, a TV series devoted exclusively to the notion won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. In the fifteen-year window from 1999 to 2014, no aspect of interpersonal civilization changed more, to the point where Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner attracted more Twitter followers than the president (and the importance of this shift will amplify as the decades pass—soon, the notion of a transgender US president will not seem remotely implausible). So think how this might alter the memory of The Matrix: In some protracted reality, film historians will reinvestigate an extremely commercial action movie made by people who (unbeknownst to the audience) would eventually transition from male to female. Suddenly, the symbolic meaning of a universe with two worlds—one false and constructed, the other genuine and hidden—takes on an entirely new meaning. The idea of a character choosing between swallowing a blue pill that allows him to remain a false placeholder and a red pill that forces him to confront who he truly is becomes a much different metaphor. Considered from this speculative vantage point, The Matrix may seem like a breakthrough of a far different kind. It would feel more reflective than entertaining, which is precisely why certain things get remembered while certain others get lost.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Bliss?” I called. “Yeah?” “Check the drawers of the nightstand! She was playing with it in the middle of the night, and I think I remember taking it away and sticking it in there.” “Okay!” Through the open door, I watched her circle around the edge of the bed. I walked in place for a few seconds, letting my feet drop a little heavier than necessary, then opened and closed the door like I’d gone back inside the bathroom. Then I hid in the space between the back of the bedroom door and the wall where I could just see through the crack between the hinges. She pulled open the top drawer, and my heartbeat was like a bass drum. I don’t know when it had started beating so hard, but now it was all that I could hear. It wasn’t like I was asking her to marry me now. I just knew Bliss, and knew she tended to panic. I was giving her a very big, very obvious hint so that she’d have time to adjust before I actually asked her. Then in a few months, when I thought she’d gotten used to the idea, I’d ask her for real. That was the plan anyway. It was supposed to be simple, but this felt… complicated. Suddenly, I thought of all the thousands of ways this could go wrong. What if she freaked out? What if she ran like she did our first night together? If she ran, would she go back to Texas? Or would she go to Cade who lived in North Philly? He’d let her stay until she figured things out, and then what if something developed between them? What if she just flat out told me no? Everything was good right now. Perfect, actually. What if I was ruining it by pulling this stunt? I was so caught up in my doomsday predictions that I didn’t even see the moment that she found the box. I heard her open it though, and I heard her exhale and say, “Oh my God.” Where before my mouth had been dry, now I couldn’t swallow fast enough. My hands were shaking against the door. She was just standing there with her back to me. I couldn’t see her face. All I could see was her tense, straight spine. She swayed slightly. What if she passed out? What if I’d scared her so much that she actually lost consciousness? I started to think of ways to explain it away. I was keeping it for a friend? It was a prop for a show? It was… It was… shit, I didn’t know. I could just apologize. Tell her I knew it was too fast. I waited for her to do something—scream, run, cry, faint. Anything would be better than her stillness. I should have just been honest with her. I wasn’t good at things like this. I said what I was thinking—no plans, no manipulation. Finally, when I thought my body would crumble under the stress alone, she turned. She faced the bed, and I only got her profile, but she was biting her lip. What did that mean? Was she just thinking? Thinking of a way to get out of it? Then, slowly, like the sunrise peeking over the horizon, she smiled. She snapped the box closed. She didn’t scream. She didn’t run. She didn’t faint. There might have been a little crying. But mostly… she danced. She swayed and jumped and smiled the same way she had when the cast list was posted for Phaedra. She lost herself the same way she did after opening night, right before we made love for the first time. Maybe I didn’t have to wait a few months after all. She said she wanted my best line tomorrow after the show, and now I knew what it was going to be.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
Ruby?” His hair was pale silver in this light, curled and tangled in its usual way. I couldn’t hide from him. I had never been able to. “Mike came and got me,” he said, taking a careful step toward me. His hands were out in front of him, as if trying to coax a wild animal into letting him approach. “What are you doing out here? What’s going on?” “Please just go,” I begged. “I need to be alone.” He kept coming straight at me. “Please,” I shouted, “go away!” “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Liam said. He got a better look at me and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Where were you this morning? Did something happen? Chubs told me you’ve been gone all day, and now you’re out here like…this…did he do something to you?” I looked away. “Nothing I didn’t ask for.” Liam’s only response was to move back a few paces back. Giving me space. “I don’t believe you for a second,” he said, calmly. “Not one damn second. If you want to get rid of me, you’re going to have to try harder than that.” “I don’t want you here.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I’m leaving you here alone. You can take all the time you want, as long as you need, but you and me? We’re having this out tonight. Right now.” Liam pulled his black sweater over his head and threw it toward me. “Put it on, or you’ll catch a cold.” I caught it with one hand and pressed it to my chest. It was still warm. He began to pace, his hands on his hips. “Is it me? Is it that you can’t talk to me about it? Do you want me to get Chubs?” I couldn’t bring myself to answer. “Ruby, you’re scaring the hell out of me.” “Good.” I balled up his sweater and threw it into the darkness as hard as I could. He blew out a shaky sigh, bracing a hand against the nearest tree. “Good? What’s good about it?” I hadn’t really understood what Clancy had been trying to tell me that night, not until right then, when Liam looked up and his eyes met mine. The trickle of blood in my ears turned into a roar. I squeezed my eyes shut, digging the heels of my palms against my forehead. “I can’t do this anymore,” I cried. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?” “Because you would never leave me.” His feet shuffled through the underbrush as he took a few steps closer. The air around me heated, taking on a charge I recognized. I gritted my teeth, furious with him for coming so close when he knew I couldn’t handle it. When he knew I could hurt him. His hands came up to pull mine away from my face, but I wasn’t about to let him be gentle. I shoved him back, throwing my full weight into it. Liam stumbled. “Ruby—” I pushed him again and again, harder each time, because it was the only way I could tell him what I was desperate to say. I saw bursts of his glossy memories. I saw all of his brilliant dreams. It wasn’t until I knocked his back into a tree that I realized I was crying. Up this close, I saw a new cut under his left eye and the bruise forming around it. Liam’s lips parted. His hands were no longer out in front of him, but hovering over my hips. “Ruby…” I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Here, Kells. I brought you something,” he said unassumingly and held out three mangos. “Thanks. Um, dare I ask where you got them?” “Monkeys.” I stopped in mid-brush. “Monkeys? What do you mean monkeys?” “Well, monkeys don’t like tigers because tigers eat monkeys. So, when a tiger comes around, they jump up in the trees and pummel the tiger with fruit or feces. Lucky for me today they threw fruit.” I gulped. “Have you ever…eaten a monkey?” Ren grinned at me. “Well, a tiger does have to eat.” I dug a rubber band out of the backpack so I could braid my hair. “Ugh, that’s disgusting.” He laughed. “I didn’t really eat a monkey, Kells. I’m just teasing you. Monkeys are repellant. They taste like meaty tennis balls and they smell like feet.” He paused. “Now a nice juicy deer, that is delectable.” He smacked his lips together in an exaggerated way. “I don’t think I really need to hear about your hunting.” “Really? I quite enjoy hunting.” Ren froze into place. Then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing. He was preparing to spring. His lips were pulled back in a wide grin, which showed his brilliant white teeth. He looked…feral. He spoke in a silky, mesmerizing voice. “When you’re stalking your prey, you must freeze in place and hide, remaining that way for a long time. If you fail, your prey eludes you.” He closed the distance between us in a heartbeat. Even though I’d been watching him closely, I was startled at how fast he could move. My pulse started thumping wildly at my throat, which was where his lips now hovered as if he were going for my jugular. He brushed my hair back and moved up to my ear, whispering, “And you will go…hungry.” His words were hushed. His warm breath tickled my ear and made goose bumps fan out over my body. I turned my head slightly to look at him. His eyes had changed. They were a brighter blue than normal and were studying my face. His hand was still in my hair, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth. I suddenly had the distinct impression that this was what it felt like to be a deer. Ren was making my nervous. I blinked and swallowed dryly. His eyes darted back up to mine again. He must have sensed my apprehension because his expression changed. He removed his hand from my hair and relaxed his posture. “I’m sorry if I frightened you, Kelsey. It won’t happen again.” When he took a step back, I started breathing again. I said shakily, “Well, I don’t want to hear any more about hunting. It freaks me out. The least you could do is not tell me about it. Especially when I have to spend time with you outdoors, okay?” He laughed. “kells, we all have some animalistic tendencies. I loved hunting, even when I was young.” I shuddered. “Fine. Just keep your animalistic tendencies to yourself.” He leaned toward me again and pulled on a strand of my hair. “Now, Kells, there are some of my animalistic tendencies that you seem to like.” He started making a rumbling sound in his chest, and I realized that he was purring. “Stop that!” I sputtered. He laughed, walked over to the backpack, and picked up the fruit. “So, do you want any of this mango or not? I’ll wash it for you.” “Well, considering you carried it in your mouth all that way just for me. And taking into account the source of said fruit. Not really.” His shoulders fell, and I hurried to add, “But I guess I could eat some of the inside.” He looked up at me and smiled. “It’s not freeze-dried.” “Okay. I’ll try some.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))