Swing Hard Quotes

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

I took a chance, I took a shot And you may think I’m bullet-proof, but I’m not. You took a swing, I took it hard. And down here from the ground I see who you are
Taylor Swift
One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Mildred adjusted the papers and scribbled some more. When she was finished, she took off her glasses, leaving them to swing from the chain around her neck. She gave the women around the table a pointed look. “Now think hard, ladies, can you come up with anything else?
Kirsten Fullmer
I don’t get hit that often. If they swing, I move. It’s not that hard
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
By November, you wish you were dead. You want nothing more. Every day, every fucking day, you run up the steps of the house, breathing hard, swing open the cupboards, thinking: You pitiful little bitch. Fucking cow. Greedy pig. All day, your stomach pinches and spits up its bile. You sway when you walk. You begin to get cold again.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
(It starts with) One thing, I don’t know why It doesn’t even matter how hard you try Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme To explain in due time All I know time is a valuable thing Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings Watch it count down to the end of the day The clock ticks life away It’s so unreal Didn’t look out below Watch the time go right out the window Trying to hold on but didn’t even know Wasted it all just to Watch you go I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I tried so hard And got so far But in the end It doesn't even matter I had to fall To lose it all But in the end It doesn't even matter
Linkin Park
He grabs me and scoops me up like I weigh nothing, then he raises his voice as he swings around, angry and commanding. “It’s because of this woman I’m still fighting!” A sudden silence falls across the crowd, and Remington’s hard, enraged voice continues telling them, “Next time I'm on the ring, I'm going to fucking win for her, and I want all of you who hurt her tonight to bring her a red rose and tell her it’s from me!
Katy Evans (Real (Real, #1))
Painful truth is ineffable. It swings you around a couple of times until your dizzy, and then punches you hard in the stomach. You don't want to believe it, but it wouldn't hurt so badly if on some level you didn't know it was true.
Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
the lost women I need to know their names those women I would have walked with, jauntily the way men go in groups swinging their arms, and the ones those sweating women whom I would have joined After a hard game to chew the fat what would we have called each other laughing joking into our beer? where are my gangs, my teams, my mislaid sisters? all the women who could have known me, where in the world are their names?
Lucille Clifton
I’m tired of playing the good, calm girl. I rise up on my knees, reach over and hit him across the top of his head. “Fuck,” he curses. “What the hell was that for?” “That’s for being an asshole!” I hit him again… Reed pushes me back, hard, against the passenger door. “Sit the fuck down! You’re gonna make us crash.” “I’m not going to sit down!” I swing at him again. “I’m tired of you and your insults and your awful friends!
Erin Watt (Paper Princess (The Royals, #1))
When life throws you lemons ... grab a bat and swing hard!
Kimberly McKay
Come live with me and be my love And we will all the pleasures prove Of a marriage conducted with economy In the Twentieth Century Anno Donomy. We’ll live in a dear little walk-up flat With practically room to swing a cat And a potted cactus to give it hauteur And a bathtub equipped with dark brown water. We’ll eat, without undue discouragement, Foods low in cost but high in nouragement And quaff with pleasure, while chatting wittily, The peculiar wine of Little Italy. We’ll remind each other it’s smart to be thrifty And buy our clothes for something-fifty. We’ll bus for miles on holidays For seas at depressing matinees, And every Sunday we’ll have a lark And take a walk in Central Park. And one of these days not too remote You’ll probably up and cut my throat.
Ogden Nash (Hard Lines)
I swing my arms to loosen myself up. Place my fists on my hips. then drop them to my sides. Saliva's filling my mouth at a ridiculous rate and i feel vomit at the back of my throat. I swallow hard and open my lips so I can get the stupid line out and go hide in the woods and-that's when i start crying.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Hey you, dragging the halo- how about a holiday in the islands of grief? Tongue is the word I wish to have with you. Your eyes are so blue they leak. Your legs are longer than a prisoner's last night on death row. I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski. You're a dirty little windshield. I'm standing behind you on the subway, hard as calculus. My breath be sticking to your neck like graffiti. I'm sitting opposite you in the bar, waiting for you to uncross your boundaries. I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you. I want to ride in the swing of your hips. My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks, blazing your limbs into parts of speech. But with me for a lover, you won't need catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place will ultimately make me resent you. I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle, become the bad stars you chart your life by. I'll stare at other women so blatantly you'll hear my eyes peeling, because sex with you is like Great Britain: cold, groggy, and a little uptight. Your bed is a big, soft calculator where my problems multiply. Your brain is a garage I park my bullshit in, for free. You're not really my new girlfriend, just another flop sequel of the first one, who was based on the true story of my mother. You're so ugly I forgot how to spell. I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test, break your heart just for the sound it makes. You're the 'this' we need to put an end to. The more you apologize, the less I forgive you. So how about it?
Jeffrey McDaniel
I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn form the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
Elizabeth Bishop (North and South)
Life doesn’t exactly give us what we need when it’s the perfect time. It’s not a pitching machine straight over the plate. Life throws curve balls—hard and fast, unpredictable. But you still have to hit that sucker or strike out swinging.
Kandi Steiner (Revelry)
Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home "One swing set, well worn but structually sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may alos learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard how you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around." Swing set currently resides near 83rd and Spring Mill.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
But it’s hard, when you’re at a loose end yourself, to be happy for others,
Zadie Smith (Swing Time)
it didn’t matter how hard you could swing a sword, if you couldn’t hit anything.
Terry Goodkind (Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, #5))
One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home ... With this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That's when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Why aren’t we moving?” Tucker swings his bloodshot eyes toward the backseat. “We have a baby in this truck, Sabrina.” “I know.” He swallows hard. “This is fucked up. We shouldn’t be allowed to leave the hospital with a kid. I’ve never even had a pet before.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in. "Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?" I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.” She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—” "Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?" "Yeah, but that’s not the problem." Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk. "Go on," I said wearily. "Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her." "We?" I exclaimed. "Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.” I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said. As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.” "Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience." Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to. I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me. "Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy." I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.” "Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways. I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake. "Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi." Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.” The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.” That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
So he said to young Sam: "if you lose your cow you should report this to the Watch under Demonic & Farmyard Animals (Lost) Act of 1804. They will swing into action with keenness and speed. Your cow will be found. If it has been impersonating other animals, it may be arrested. If you are a stupid person, do not look for your cow yourself. Never try to milk a chicken. It hardly ever works.
Terry Pratchett (Where's My Cow? (Discworld, #34.5))
Candace nodded a little too hard. She loved making her ponytail swing.
Lisi Harrison (Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way (Monster High, #3))
There was more than one Cabeswater. Or more than one of whatever it was. How many? He didn't know. How alive was it? He didn't know that, either. Did it THINK, was it an alien, did it die, was it good, was it right? He didn't know. But he knew there was more than one, and this one stretched its fingers out as hard as it could to reach the other. The enormity of the enormity of the world grew and grew inside Adam, and he didn't know if he could hold it. He was just a boy. Was he meant to know this? They had transformed Henrietta already by waking this ley line and strengthening Cabeswater. What would a world look like with more forests woken all over it? Would it tear itself apart with crackling energy and magic, or was this a pendulum swing, a result of hundreds of years of sleep? How many kings slept?
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
I don’t need my heart anymore, you can have it. Cut it out, put it in a box, bury it in the hard ground, next to you. My eyes are useless too. They only show me a world without you. Color blind, color absent, colorless. And my mind screams, Not fair! Not right. Not what I was promised on the swing set as you pushed me toward the sun. None of the stories you read me schooled me for this. I didn’t learn this lesson in the moon, or on the train, or as a thing to be curious about. So I don’t need my heart anymore, you can have it. Let it be buried, in the hard ground, next to you.
Catherine McKenzie (Hidden)
They had to swing by Jared’s locker so he could grab his jacket. “A leather jacket,” Kami said as he shrugged into it. “Aren’t you trying a little too hard to play into certain bad boy clichés?” “Nah,” said Jared. “You’re thinking of black leather. Black leather’s for bad boys. It’s all in the color. You wouldn’t think I was a bad boy if I was wearing a pink leather jacket.” “That’s true,” Kami said. “What I would think of you, I do not know. So what does brown leather mean, then?” “I’m going for manly,” Jared said. “Maybe a little rugged.” “It’s bits of dead cow; don’t ask it to perform miracles.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
A man's body is like a circus. You can swing off his trapeze arms, lay your head on thighs like fresh-blown balloons while his cock performs tricks, soft to hard, a burst like a cannon if you treat him right.
Bojan Veljanov
The sidewalk was all cracked and wavy, like little hills, and the weeds pushed their way up through the cement. I had to roller-skate there anyway, because they wouldn't let me out of their sight, and they could watch me from the swing on the front porch of the old house. It was hard to skate there, and I kept falling down and getting sores on my knees...Sometimes, when they left me alone in 102 to go to the store, I'd turn on the radio and dance all around the room. I'd get on the furniture and jump from couch to the bed to the chair, leaping and twirling the whole time.
Carol Burnett (One More Time)
I let go of the pump as well now. I registered a sense of fatigue. And regret. It was the same fatigue and regret you feel when you miss a tennis ball. You were planning to smash it, but you swing hard and miss; the arm holding the racket meets no resistance and lashes wildly through the air.
Herman Koch (The Dinner)
We teach our children to study hard, to strive to succeed but do we teach them that it's okay to fail? That life is about accepting yourself? That there is no stigma in seeking help? Our Indian culture is based on worshipping our parents. We grow up listening to words like respect, obedience and tradition. Can we not add the words communication, unconditional love and support to this list? I look at the WHO research. The highest rate of suicide in India is among the age group of 15 to 29. Do we even talk to our teens about this? That evening, I am standing in the balcony, sipping some coffee and looking at the sunset. The children have taken the dogs and gone down to play on the beach. I spot my son. He is standing on the sand, right at the edge of the ocean and is flying a blue kite. The kite goes high and then swings low till it almost seems to fall into the water and all I want to say to him is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight, sometimes your kite will fly effortlessly, sometimes you will not be able to control it and even when you are struggling to keep it afloat and the string is cutting into your hand, don't let go. The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don't let go..
Twinkle Khanna (Mrs Funnybones)
I rode the dinosaur into the stream of zombies following in the Wardens’ wake and let her go to town. Sue chomped and stomped and smacked zombies fifty feet through the air with swinging blows of her snout. Her tail batted one particularly vile-looking zombie into the brick wall of the nearest building, and the zombie hit so hard and so squishily that it just stuck to the wall like a refrigerator magnet, arms and legs spread in a sprawl.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
Its all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you cant go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
A hedgehog flies from the safety of a bush, startling me. It darts past us in a terrible hurry. Kartik nods toward the furry little thing. "Don't mind him. He's off to meet his lady friend." "How can you be sure?" "He has on his best hedgehog suit." "Ah, I should have noticed." I say, happy to be playing this game-any game-with him. I put my hand on the tree's trunk and swing myself around it slowly, letting my body feel gravity's pull. "And why has he worn his best?" "He's been away in London, you see, and now he has returned to her," Kartik continues. "And what if she is angry with him for being away so long?" Kartik circles just behind me. "She will forgive him." "Will she?" I say pointedly. "It is his hope that she will, for he didn't mean to upset her." Kartik answers, and I am no longer sure we speak of the hedgehog. "And is he happy to see her again?" "Yes," Kartik says. "He should like to stay longer, but he cannot." The bark chafes against my hand. "Why is that?" "He has his reasons, and hopes his lady will understand them one day." Kartik has changed direction. He comes around the other side of the tree. We are face to face. A palm of moonglow reaches through the branches to caress his face. "Oh," I say, heart beating fast. "And what would the lady hedgehog say to that?" he asks. His voice soft and low. "She would say..." I swallow hard. Kartik steps closer. "Yes?" "She would say," I whisper, "'If you please, I am not a hedgehog. I am a woodchuck.'" A small smile plays at Kartik's lips. "He is fortunate to have so witty a lady friend," he says, and I wish I could have the moment back again to play differently.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
are not accustomed to the emotional upheaval that accompanies a loss. People experience a wide array of emotions after a loss, from not caring to being on edge to feeling angry or sad about everything. We can go from feeling okay to feeling devastated in a minute without warning. We can have mood swings that are hard for anyone around us to comprehend, because even we don’t understand them.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss)
Light glinted off a bright yellow racquet as the stranger took a swing, and Neil was going too fast to stop. Wood slammed into his gut hard enough to crush his lungs into his spine. He didn't remember falling, but suddenly he was on his hands and knees, scrabbling ineffectually at the floor as he tried to breathe. He'd puke if he could only manage that first gasp, but his body refused to cooperate.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It’s a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it’s a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time. Everyone who tells a story tells it differently, just to remind us that everybody sees it differently. Some people say there are true things to be found, some people say all kinds of things can be proved. I don’t believe them. The only thing for certain is how complicated it all is, like string full of knots. It’s all there but hard to find the beginning and impossible to fathom the end. The best you can do is admire the cat’s cradle, and maybe knot it up a bit more. History should be a hammock for swinging and a game for playing, the way cats play. Claw it, chew it, rearrange it and at bedtime it’s still a ball of string full of knots. Nobody should mind. Some people make a lot of money out of it. Publishers do well, children, when bright, can come top. It’s an all-purpose rainy day pursuit, this reducing of stories called history.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
The time came to put Iris Duarte back on the plane. It was a morning flight which made it difficult. I was used to rising at noon; it was a fine cure for hangovers and would add 5 years to my life. I felt no sadness while driving her to L.A. International. The sex had been fine; there had been laughter. I could hardly remember a more civilized time, neither of us making any demands, yet there had been warmth, it had not been without feeling, dead meat coupled with dead meat. I detested that type of swinging, the Los Angeles, Hollywood, Bel Air, Malibu, Laguna Beach kind of sex. Strangers when you meet, strangers when you part—a gymnasium of bodies namelessly masturbating each other. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love. So they became swingers. The dead fucking the dead. There was no gamble or humor in their game—it was corpse fucking corpse. Morals were restrictive, but they were grounded on human experience down through the centuries. Some morals tended to keep people slaves in factories, in churches and true to the State. Other morals simply made good sense. It was like a garden filled with poisoned fruit and good fruit. You had to know which to pick and eat, which to leave alone.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
You really broke his nose and hit him with a blunt instrument?" "Clawed his face and stabbed him in the lower stomach too," said Frankie. Lydia looked down at her niece in disbelief. "You look so sweet, it's just hard imagining you swinging a hammer at someone's head.
Suzanne Wright (Wild Hunger (The Phoenix Pack, #7))
The price of being a hip, swinging chick eventually had become too great to pay.
Anita O'Day (High Times, Hard Times)
I swing my blade as hard as I can. I can feel the surge of excitement coming through the blade as Pooky gets a chance to cut into a Pit lord.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
I've worked so hard for you today, and I am wearied, emptied all— and all I want is a little bed with a curved moon swinging and another in the room, singing.
Amal El-Mohtar (The Honey Month)
Fuck if I know,” he says. “I bought him on Amazon.” He rushes over to the sex swing and kneels next to it. “Look at his blow-up penis! I nearly died blowing him up. When his penis popped out, I was laughing so hard on top of already being air deprived from blowing him up that I nearly passed out.
Alice Winters (The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love (The Hitman's Guide, #1))
It’s all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
First love, with its frantic haughty imagination, swings its object clear of the everyday, over the rut of living, making him all looks, silences, gestures, attitudes, a burning phrase with no context. This isolation, young love and hero worship accomplish without remorse; they hardly know tenderness.
Elizabeth Bowen (The House in Paris)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
Single parenting isn’t just being the only one to take care of your kid. It’s not about being able to “tap out” for a break or tag team bath- and bedtime; those were the least of the difficulties I faced. I had a crushing amount of responsibility. I took out the trash. I brought in the groceries I had gone to the store to select and buy. I cooked. I cleaned. I changed out the toilet paper. I made the bed. I dusted. I checked the oil in the car. I drove Mia to the doctor, to her dad's house. I drove her to ballet class if I could find one that offered scholarships and then drove her back home again. I watched every twirl, every jump, and every trip down the slide. It was me who pushed her on the swing, put her to sleep at night, kissed her when she fell. When I sat down, I worried. With the stress gnawing at my stomach, worrying. I worried that my paycheck might not cover bills that month. I worried about Christmas, still four months away. I worried that Mia's cough might become a sinus infection that would keep her out of day care... . I worried that I would have to reschedule work or miss it altogether.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
I know I get crazy when it comes to you, but God knows I’m tryin’, Pidge. I don’t wanna screw this up.” “Then don’t.” “This is hard for me, ya know. I feel like any second you’re going to figure out what a piece of shit I am and leave me. When you were dancing last night, I saw a dozen different guys watching you. You go to the bar, and I see you thank that guy for your drink. Then that douchebag on the dance floor grabs you.” “You don’t see me throwing punches every time a girl talks to you. I can’t stay locked up in the apartment all the time. You’re going to have to get a handle on your temper.” “I will. I’ve never wanted a girlfriend before, Pigeon. I’m not used to feeling this way about someone…about anyone. If you’ll be patient with me, I swear I’ll get it figured out.” “Let’s get something straight; you’re not a piece of shit, you’re amazing. It doesn’t matter who buys me drinks, or who asks me to dance, or who flirts with me. I’m going home with you. You’ve asked me to trust you, and you don’t seem to trust me.” He frowned. “That’s not true.” “If you think I’m going to leave you for the next guy that comes along, then you don’t have much faith in me.” He tightened his grip. “I’m not good enough for you, Pidge. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust you, I’m just bracing for the inevitable.” “Don’t say that. When we’re alone, you’re perfect. We’re perfect. But then you let everyone else ruin it. I don’t expect a one-eighty, but you have to pick your battles. You can’t come out swinging every time someone looks at me.” He nodded. “I’ll do anything you want. Just…tell me you love me.” “You know I do.” “I need to hear you say it,” he said, his brows pulling together. “I love you,” I said, touching my lips to his. “Now quit being such a baby.” He laughed, crawling into the bed with me. We spent the next hour in the same spot under the covers, giggling and kissing, barely noticing when Kara returned from the shower.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It’s all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
He spins us both, wrapping us in his wings until I’m dazed and giggling. “I wanted to lift you above me and swing you in circles until we were both dizzy and laughing,” he murmurs against my neck as we tumble to the ground, trapped beneath his tented wings. My body aches on impact—but it’s a delicious ache. I can hardly breathe with the weight of his ribs covering mine, with the scent of his tobacco surrounding me, smothering and intoxicating. The curve of his smiling mouth glides along my collarbone and I gasp at the velvety sensation. I force his head up so I can look at him . . . break the spell. He slips the bejeweled headband from my hair, sweeping stray strands from my face. The slickness of his gloves grazes my eye markings. “I wanted to kiss your lips and share your breath,” he says softly as he leans close.
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
The World Has Need Of You” everything here seems to need us —Rainer Maria Rilke I can hardly imagine it as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient prayer of my arms swinging in counterpoint to my feet. Here I am, suspended between the sidewalk and twilight, the sky dimming so fast it seems alive. What if you felt the invisible tug between you and everything? A boy on a bicycle rides by, his white shirt open, flaring behind him like wings. It’s a hard time to be human. We know too much and too little. Does the breeze need us? The cliffs? The gulls? If you’ve managed to do one good thing, the ocean doesn’t care. But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth, the earth, ever so slightly, fell toward the apple.
Ellen Bass (Like a Beggar)
High, low, overhand, he rained down steel upon her. Left, right, backslash, swinging so hard that sparks flew when the swords came together, upswing, sideslash, overhand, always attacking, moving into her, step and slide, strike and step, step and strike, hacking, slashing, faster, faster, faster . . .until, breathless, he stepped back and let the point of the sword fall to the ground, giving her a moment of respite. “Not half bad,” he acknowledged. “For a wench.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
When I was growing up, people didn't tell me to slow down, to do less, to be calmer, or to practice being content. In fact, people told me to do the opposite: be involved, challenge myself, stay busy, push through the pain, chase after my goals, swing for the fences, do more, make more, go all out. But you wanna know something? When it comes to dealing with the hard stuff in life, it's the slowing down and remembering the basics that are most important. Also, all of those other words sound exhausting.
Chad Eastham (The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up, and Moving On)
Silence and laughter, silence and laughter, switch and swing. The way one glides through this life without having to think about anything hard.
Brandon Taylor (Real Life)
Come on get higher, Loosen my lips ... Faith and desire and the swing of your hips Just pull me down hard, and drown me in love ..
Matt Nathanson
as if we were both trying to get on a see-saw at the same time—neither of us pressed too hard and a delicate equilibrium was allowed to persist.
Zadie Smith (Swing Time)
It’s hard to walk in the dress, it’s not easy I’m swinging over like a heavy loaded fruit tree
P.J. Harvey
The day Stamp Paid saw the two backs through the window and then hurried down the steps, he believed the undecipherable language clamoring around the house was the mumbling of the black and angry dead. Very few had died in bed, like Baby Suggs, and none that he knew of, including Baby, had lived a livable life. Even the educated colored: the long-school people, the doctors, the teachers, the paper-writers and businessmen had a hard row to hoe. In addition to having to use their heads to get ahead, they had the weight of the whole race sitting there. You needed two heads for that. Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Kya watched him gimp along the path, left leg swinging to the side, then forward. Her fingers knotted. Maybe they were all going to leave her, one by one down this lane. When he reached the road and unexpectedly looked back, she threw her hand up and waved hard. A shot to keep him tethered. Pa lifted an arm in a quick, dismissive salutation. But it was something. It was more than Ma had done.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
There was no way that these guys were going to let a bleeding, barefoot woman simply wander off alone into the streets. Two of them were already running toward her with hands reaching out in a manner that, in normal circumstances, would have seemed just plain ungentlemanly. What would have been designated, in a Western office, as a hostile environment was soon in full swing as numerous rough strong hands were all over her, easing her to a comfortable perch on a chair that was produced as if by magic, feeling through her hair to find bumps and lacerations. Three different first aid kits were broken open at her feet; older and wiser men began to lodge objections at the profligate use of supplies, darkly suggesting that it was all because she was a pretty girl. A particularly dashing young man skidded up to her on his knees (he was wearing hard-shell knee pads) and, in an attitude recalling the prince on the final page of Cinderella, fit a pair of used flip-flops onto her feet.
Neal Stephenson (Reamde)
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner’s head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner’s thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner’s chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner’s body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. “Ernst,” says the man beside him. “Ernst.” But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. “It’s all right,” he told her. “Things hardly ever work on the first try. We’ll make another, a better one.” Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat—a more seaworthy one—gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn’t it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn’t the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. “Stop,” he calls. “Halt,” he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
When Batty got back home from walking the dogs, there were teenagers lounging all over the place, some left over from the basketball game, some arriving for the birthday dinner, some who fit into both categories. For once, she hardly cared, too delighted to see that Oliver's sleek car was no longer in the driveway. Hoping that he was gone forever, she rushed into the house and ended up in the kitchen, where dinner preparations were in full swing. Mr. Penderwick was chopping up vegetables for quesadillas, Rosalind was pulling a cake out of the oven, Jeffrey was shredding cheese, and Iantha was cooking up small, plain cheese quesadillas for Lydia, who was to be fed before the big dinner got rolling. Then there were the non-workers: Lydia in her high chair, wearing both her crown and her lamb bib, her new pink rabbit beside her; Jane sitting cross-legged on the floor, in everyone's way; Ben, strutting around, showing off his new Celtics T-shirt; and Asimov, sticking close to Jeffrey, hoping for falling cheese.
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks in Spring (The Penderwicks, #4))
The lion snorted. 'You treat all as a game. That is why they sent for me - Malcador cannot trust you. No one can trust you. Your Legion is a rabble that would brawl among themselves if you were not there to smack their heads together.' 'If only they were more like yours,' said Russ, mockingly. 'Yes,' replied the Lion, exasperated. 'Yes. Is that so hard to imagine?' Russ loosened his arms, letting Krakenmaw swing lazily before him. 'I know why you do this. I know why you conquer, world after world, driving your sons after every campaign Malcador finds for you. But our father won't do it, brother. He won't choose a favourite. And if He did, it wouldn't be you - it would be Sanguinius, or Rogal, or Horus. So you're wasting yourself, trying to be noticed. It doesn't work like that.' The Lion let slip a scornful laugh. 'Not all of us are so without friends in the Palace, Leman, and you have no idea who our father favours.
Chris Wraight (Leman Russ: The Great Wolf (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs, #2))
For the truth is, there are times when we are too weary to remain attentive and thankful under the improving eye, kindly but severe, of the seers. There are times when we do not wish to be any better than we are. We do not wish to be elevated and improved. At midnight, away with such books! As for the literary pundits, the high priests of the Temple of Letters, it is interesting and helpful occasionally for an acolyte to swinge them a good hard one with an incense-burner, and cut and run, for a change, to something outside the rubrics. Midnight is the time when one can recall, with ribald delight, the names of all the Great Works which every gentleman ought to have read, but which some of us have not.
H.M. Tomlinson
I’m sure all those damsels in distress really appreciate that,” I scoffed. “Oh, here I am, being held hostage. I hope some sword-swinging moron with no grasp of strategy comes storming in here to save me with a hi-ho and a happy hard-on.
Elliott James (In Shining Armor (Pax Arcana, #4))
One of the most beautifully disturbing questions we can ask, is whether a given story we tell about our lives is actually true, and whether the opinions we go over every day have any foundation or are things we repeat to ourselves simply so that we will continue to play the game. It can be quite disorienting to find that a story we have relied on is not only not true - it actually never was true. Not now not ever. There is another form of obsolescence that can fray at the cocoon we have spun about ourselves, that is, the story was true at one time, and for an extended period; the story was even true and good to us, but now it is no longer true and no longer of any benefit, in fact our continued retelling of it simply imprisons us. We are used to the prison however, we have indeed fitted cushions and armchairs and made it comfortable and we have locked the door from the inside. The imprisoning story I identified by the time the entree was served was one I had told myself for a long time. “In order to write I need peace and quiet and an undisturbed place far from others or the possibility of being disturbed. I knew however, that if I wanted to enter the next creative stage, something had to change; I simply did not have enough free space between traveling, speaking and being a good father and husband to write what I wanted to write. The key in the lock turned surprisingly easy, I simply said to myself, “What if I acted as if it wasn’t true any more, what if it had been true at one time, but now at this stage in the apprenticeship I didn’t need that kind of insulation anymore, what if I could write anywhere and at any time?” One of the interesting mercies of this kind of questioning is that it is hard to lose by asking: if the story is still true, we will soon find out and can go back to telling it. If it is not we have turned the key, worked the hinges and walked out into the clear air again with a simple swing of the door.
David Whyte
I glance around the set—everyone is buzzing like worker bees getting ready for the shot. Cordelia’s getting primped and powdered by a makeup girl, Vanessa is speaking with a few of the cameramen, and the convertible I’m supposed to drive is just sitting there . . . all by its lonesome. And look at that—someone left the keys in the ignition. Stealthily, I sidle up to Sarah. “Have you ever driven in a convertible?” She looks up sharply, like she didn’t see me approach. “Of course I have.” My hands slide into my pockets and I lean back on my heels. “Have you ever been in a convertible driven by a prince?” Her eyes are lighter in the sun, with a hint of gold. They crinkle as she smiles. “No.” I nod. “Perfect. We do this in three.” Now she looks nervous. “Do what?” I spot James across the way, eyes scanning the crowd—far enough away that he’ll never get over here in time. “Three . . .” “I don’t know what you mean.” “Two . . .” “Henry . . .” “One.” “I . . .” “Go, go, go!” “Go where?” she asks, loud enough to draw attention. So I wrap my arm around her waist, lift her off her feet, carry her to the car, and swing her up and into the passenger seat. Then, I jump into the driver’s side. “Shit!” James curses. But then the engine is roaring to life. I back out, knocking over a food service table, and the tires screech as I turn around and drive across the grounds . . . toward the woods. “The road is that way!” Sarah yells, the wind making her long, dark hair dance and swirl. “I know a shortcut. Buckle up.” We fly into the woods, sending a flurry of leaves in our wake. The car bounces and jostles, and I feel Sarah’s hand wrapped around my arm—holding on. It feels good. “Duck.” “What?” I push her head down and crouch at the same time, to avoid getting whipped in the face by the low-branch of a pine tree. After we’re past it, Sarah sits up, owl-eyed, and looks back at the branch and then at me. I smirk. “If you wanted me to push your head down, love, you could’ve just said so.” “You’re insane!” I hit the gas hard, swerving around a stump. “What? You’re the only one who gets to make dirty jokes?” We have a sharp turn coming up ahead. I lay my arm across Sarah’s middle. “Hold on.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
If we don’t get in your car and start driving, right now, I’m going to be tempted to take you into that alcove, right over there” – he paused to turn his chin toward the small, bricked archway leading up to the bakery’s side door, cloaked by just enough shadow to keep it hidden to anyone passing by on the street – “undo this infernal sweater of yours, and put my mouth on you until you come so hard, you can’t stand up. So, please. Can we get out of here?” “Mmm.” Charlie arched against him for just a split second before using the leverage of her hands on his shoulders to swing him around. But rather than head toward her car, now a dozen paces from where they stood on the sidewalk, she turned in the other direction, away from the street. “Where are you going?” Parked asked, his confusion turning to shock a beat later as her destination became clear. Charlie paused in front of the archway leading into the shadows. “I’ve been dying for you to make me come all night,” she said over one shoulder, a sweetly wicked gleam in her eyes. “If you think I’m going to turn down a promise like that, you’re out of your mind.
Kimberly Kincaid (Back to You (Remington Medical, #1))
In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it onto motion, sits the Leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his “intangible preponderance.” His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its members and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. He owes his rise to leadership to an extreme ability to handle inner-party struggles for power rather than to demagogic or bureaucratic-organizational qualities. He is distinguished from earlier types of dictators in that he hardly wins through simple violence. Hitler needed neither the SA nor the SS to secure his position as leader of the Nazi movement; on the contrary, Röhm, the chief of the SA and able to count upon its loyalty to his own person, was one of Hitler’s inner-party enemies. Stalin won against Trotsky, who not only had a far greater mass appeal but, as chief of the Red Army, held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Russia at the time. Not Stalin, but Trotsky, moreover, was the greatest organizational talent, the ablest bureaucrat of the Russian Revolution. On the other hand, both Hitler and Stalin were masters of detail and devoted themselves in the early stages of their careers almost entirely to questions of personnel, so that after a few years hardly any man of importance remained who did not owe his position to them.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Erra’s gaze swept the crowd, taking in the archers, the Biohazard, the vans, the equipment, the audience up in the ruins nearby . . . She raised her arms to the sides. The cape slipped off her. Glossy red fabric hugged her body. It clung to her like a second skin of pure scarlet. My aunt apparently had developed a fetish for spandex. Who knew? Gale thrust his hand through his cloak. His fist gripped a large axe. The orange light of the flames shimmered along the ten-inch blade attached to a four-foot handle. The axe probably pushed six pounds in weight. A normal swordsman would be slower than molasses, but with her strength, it wouldn’t matter. She could swing it all day and then arm-wrestle a bear. Gale turned on his heel, walked five steps to Erra, and knelt before her, offering the axe on the raised palms of his hands. “We should clap or something,” Curran said. “She’s trying so hard.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
She strong-armed the swinging door and walked through. Straight into an acid flashback. Clara’s first reaction was to laugh. She stood stunned for a moment then started to laugh. And laugh. And laugh until she thought she’d piddle. Peter was soon infected and began laughing. And Gamache, who up until this moment had only seen a travesty, smiled, then chuckled, then laughed and within moments was laughing so hard he had to wipe away tears. ‘Holy horrible taste, Batman,’ said Clara to Peter who doubled over, laughing some more. ‘Solid, man, solid,’ he gasped and managed to raise a peace sign before having to put both hands on his knees to support his heaving body.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
It’s our bad luck to have teachers in this world, but since we’re stuck with them, the best we can do is hope to get a brand-new one instead of a mean old fart. New teachers don’t know the rules, so you can get away with things the old-timers would squash you for. That was my theory. So I was feeling pretty excited to start fifth grade, since I was getting a rookie teacher—a guy named Mr. Terupt. Right away, I put him to the test. If the bathroom pass is free, all you have to do is take it and go. This year, the bathrooms were right across the hall. It’s always been an easy way to get out of doing work. I can be really sneaky like that. I take the pass all the time and the teachers never notice. And like I said, Mr. Terupt was a rookie, so I knew he wasn’t going to catch me. Once you’re in the bathroom, it’s mess-around time. All the other teachers on our floor were women, so you didn’t have to worry about them barging in on you. Grab the bars to the stalls and swing. Try to touch your feet to the ceiling. Swing hard. If someone’s in the stall, it’s really funny to swing and kick his door in, especially if he’s a younger kid. If you scare him bad enough, he might pee on himself a little. That’s funny. Or if your buddy’s using the urinal, you can push him from behind and flush it at the same time. Then he might get a little wet. That’s pretty funny, too. Some kids like to plug the toilets with big wads of toilet paper, but I don’t suggest you try doing that. You can get in big trouble. My older brother told me his friend got caught and he had to scrub the toilets with a toothbrush. He said the principal made him brush his teeth with that toothbrush afterward, too. Mrs. Williams is pretty tough, but I don’t think she’d give out that kind of punishment. I don’t want to find out, either. When I came back into the classroom after my fourth or fifth trip, Mr. Terupt looked at me and said, “Boy, Peter, I’m gonna have to call you Mr. Peebody, or better yet, Peter the Pee-er. You do more peein’ than a dog walking by a mile of fire hydrants.
Rob Buyea (Because of Mr. Terupt (Mr. Terupt, #1))
Your hair grows by itself, your heart beats by itself, and your breath happens pretty much by itself. Your glands secrete the essences by themselves and you do not have voluntary control over these things, and so we say they happen spontaneously. So, when you go to bed and try to go to sleep you interfere with the spontaneous process of going to sleep. If you try to breathe real hard you will find you get balled-up in your breathing. So if you are to be human, you just have to trust yourself to go to sleep, to digest your food, and to have bowel movements. Of course if something goes seriously wrong and you need a surgeon that is another matter, but by and large the healthy human being does not from the start of life need surgical interference. One lets it happen by itself, and so with the whole picture that is fundamental to it. You have to let go and let it happen, because if you don’t then you are constantly going to be trying to do what happens easily only if you do not try. When you think a bit about what people really want to do with their time, and you ask what they do when they are not being pushed around or somebody is telling them what to do, you find they like to make rhythms. They listen to music and they dance or they sing, or perhaps they do something of a rhythmic nature like playing cards, bowling, or raising their elbows. Given the chance, everybody wants to spend their time swinging.
Alan W. Watts (The Tao of Philosophy (Alan Watts Love of Wisdom))
inched his way down. Soon he too was swinging at the bottom of the rope, clumsily, twisting and banging against the wall. He let go and Talis heard a heavy thud as he smacked onto the ground. Talis and Rikar didn’t have any trouble getting down to the ledge. Nikulo had his back pressed hard against the wall, as if afraid of falling off the ledge.  The storm settled
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
In the beginning, it takes focus, effort, and more energy in your brain, but after you make the swing or say hello enough times, it becomes effortless. Thus, to rewire your brain you’ll have to stay with the new behavior long enough to make it become fairly automatic. In time, practice will make it effortless. Your brain won’t have to work as hard once you reach this level.
John B. Arden (Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life)
Eva and I walked downstairs, and I was definitely not prepared for what I saw. Jason was on top of the kitchen table in nothing but his boxers, swinging his shirt around his head. He was singing something, but I couldn't make out the words. I laughed, my hand shooting to my mouth as I watched Tyler try to coax him down while Eva picked up the clothes that were strewn all over the floor. "Evaaaa, why don't you come up here and strip with me, just like you did the other night! Come on, baby!" he said, swinging his hips as if he were dancing to music that we could all hear. Eva slapped her palm to her forehead, and Charlotte laughed hard. When Jason touched the waistband of his boxers, I closed my eyes as I and everyone around me screamed, “No!
Alexandria Rhodes (More Than You Know)
Silver mining in the United States didn’t start, like hard-core, until the mid-1850s,” Louis said. “And only really got big when the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 in California.” “It was bad work. Dangerous. Like any mining. But silver also lets out fumes when it’s mined. Even Pliny the Elder wrote about how harmful the fumes were, especially to animals. You know Pliny the Elder?” “The problem with the silver fumes,” Louis continued, “is that, over time, they gave the miners delusions. Bad enough that they had to stop mining. Their health deteriorated. And a bunch of them even died.” Hard to make fun of something like that, so Pepper didn’t. “Do you know what people would say, in these mining towns, when they saw one of these miners falling apart? Walking through town muttering and swinging at phantoms? They said the Devil in Silver got them. It became shorthand. Like someone might say, ‘What happened to Mike?’ And the answer was always the same. ‘The Devil in Silver got him.’ ” Louis sat straight and crossed his arms and surveyed the table. “Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?” “You’re saying we’re just making this thing up,” Pepper said quietly. Louis seemed disappointed. He dropped his hands into his lap and folded them there. He looked at his sister and Pepper. He turned his head to take in the other patients gathered with their family members there in the hospital. “I’m saying they were dying,” Louis said. “They definitely weren’t making that up. But it wasn’t a monster that was killing them. It was the mine.
Victor LaValle (The Devil in Silver)
When you want to become a dragon slayer, you don’t charge straight into the nest, swords swinging,” Merlin said. “You sneak in and steal a few coins from his hoard first.” “What if the dragon worked hard for that money?” Lam asked. “You don’t know his life. And how do you even know the dragon’s a..” “ He’s a boy dragon!” Merlin roared. “Sure thing, old man,” Kay said, slapping his arm.
Cori McCarthy & Amy Rose Capetta (Once & Future (Once & Future, #1))
Catherine glimpsed him again, leaning against the wall, arms folded. People passed back and forth between them, but she caught flashes of his face. His expression was tense and unhappy and his eyes still focused on her. She ducked behind a large man to hide and chatted with various people to keep the distance of a room between them. She’d known Jim would probably be here tonight and she’d planned to greet him politely as a teacher would treat a student since everyone knew she was tutoring him anyway. But that smoldering look he’d given her had changed everything. The way he looked and the way she felt, surely if they got within a foot of each other the entire town would see the combustible attraction between them as if they’d shouted it aloud. No. Better to accept a dance with some white-bearded farmer who would swing her around hard enough to tear her bodice seam. Better to help Mrs. Hildebrandt cut one of the cakes at the refreshment table and gush over Polly Flint’s new baby or spend a moment in the coatroom fixing Jennie’s straggling curls. Better to chat or dance with every member of the Broughton community than admit to the fact that Jim was standing solitary and friendless in his brand new suit, waiting for her to acknowledge him At one point it seemed he might approach her as he moved through the crowd in her direction. But when Catherine flitted away, putting more distance between them, he stopped and stationed himself by the wall once more, leaving it up to her to come to him. To her infinite shame, she didn’t—not even to say a quick “hello,” and when she next stole a surreptitious glance toward him, he was gone. She scanned the room. He’d left the building. She had no idea how long he’d been gone.
Bonnie Dee (A Hearing Heart)
The one who answered his questions certainly had pointed ears, though the same observer might be hard pressed to make out any ears- or actual answers at all. The boy spoke to what appeared to be little more than a golden light that bobbled and sparkled and tinkled like bells. In fact, the whole scene resembled a mesmerist quizzing a pendulum held from a long golden chain, glittering in the sunlight, whose vague swings returned meanings known only to the occultist himself. But upon looking more closely, one would see that inside the golden bauble was a tiny woman with very pointed ears, a serious face, a green dress, and sparkling wings. Her body was like a series of energetic globes, from her golden hair in its messy bun to her hips to the round silver bells that decorated her shoes. Throughout the conversation every part of her was as animated as her friend's face.
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales))
All I can see when I look at him is a belt swinging toward Tobias, and the butt of a gun slamming into Caleb’s jaw. I don’t care that he hurt Caleb--I would have done it, too--but that he is simultaneously a man who knows how to hurt people and a man who parades around as the self-effacing leader of Abnegation, suddenly makes me so angry I can’t see straight. Especially because I chose him. I chose him over Tobias. “Your brother is a traitor,” says Marcus as we turn a corner. “He deserved worse. There’s no need to look at me that way.” “Shut up!” I shout, shoving him hard into the wall. He is too surprised to push back. “I hate you, you know that! I hate you for what you did to him, and I am not talking about Caleb.” I lean close to his face and whisper, “And while I may not shoot you myself, I will definitely not help you if someone tries to kill you, so you’d better hope to God we don’t get into that situation.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Quickly, I too bent and bowed in the short pants and corky white helmet with my overheated face and great nose. My face can be like the clang of a bell, and because I am hard of hearing on the right side I have a way of swinging the left into position, listening in profile and fixing my eyes on some object to help my concentration. So I did. I waited for him to say more, sweating boisterously, for I was confounded down to the ground. I couldn't believe it; I was so sure that I had left the world
Saul Bellow (Henderson the Rain King)
I began to laugh uncontrollably, so hard I nearly fell off the swing, because I knew then for sure he saw the same thing I did. More than that: we were creating it. Whatever the drug was making us see, we were constructing it together. And, with that realization, the virtual-reality simulator flipped into color. It happened for both of us at the same time, pop! We looked at each other and just laughed; everything was hysterically funny, even the playground slide was smiling at us, and at some point, deep in the night, when we were swinging on the jungle gymand showers of sparks were flying out of our mouths, I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe. For hours, we watched the clouds rearranging themselves into intelligent patterns; rolled in the dirt, believing it was seaweed; lay on our backs and sang "Dear Prudence" to the welcoming and appreciative stars. It was a fantastic night: one of the great nights of my life.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
He shook his head. “I tried. I tried to hold out. But when I swing up like that . . . well, eventually the pendulum swings back. It’s hard to explain.” “I’ve been down before.” “Not like this,” he said. “And I’m not saying that to be a smart-ass. The way I feel . . . it’s like the world starts crumbling around me. Every doubt, every fear . . . it eats me. It weighs me down until I’m swallowed in darkness and can’t tell what’s real or not. And even when I know something’s not real . . . like Aunt Tatiana . . . well, it’s still hard . . .” I
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
To be a man and live among men is miraculous, even if we know the vile deeds and crimes that people are capable of. Every day we build together an enormous beehive with our thoughts, discoveries, inventions, works, lives. Even that analogy is hardly accurate; it is too static, since our collective work is constantly changing and displaying itself in various colors, subject to time or history. Again, this is an insufficient description, because it ignores the most important thing: that this collective creation is given life by the most private, hidden fuel of all individual aspirations and decisions. The oddity of man's exceptional calling rests principally on his being a comical being, forever immature, so that a group of children with their easy mood swings from laughter to crying is the best illustration of his lack of dignity. A few years pass, and suddenly they are adults, taking control and supposedly prepared to make pronouncements on public matters and even to take upon themselves the duties of father and mother, although it would be good if they first had an entire life of their own to prepare for this.
Czesław Miłosz (Milosz's ABC's)
I like big men,” she said. Her voice was raspy, like she had a cold. She came up to me and grabbed my arm. Her fingers hurt the muscles. I could smell her perfume. She came close to me. I thought I knew what she wanted. I tried to kiss her. She jerked away. “No.” “I’m sorry.” She slapped me. She was strong, my cheek stung. She moved in, swinging both arms. Now she had her fists closed. She hit my arms and my chest. I tried to hold her. “Hit me!” she said. It was goddam queer. I held her arms, but she got loose. She struck my chest. She said: “Hit me.” I hit her easy on the ribs. “That’s right! That’s right!” She hit me a couple of hard blows. Her eyes were wild. She hit me a hard punch on the neck. I hit her in the belly. I heard the breath go out: ouf! It didn’t stop her. She kept coming in, punching hard. I gave her one over the kidneys. She grunted and clinched with me. She bit my arm until the blood came. I slapped her. She put her knee in my groin. It hurt. I lost my balance, grabbed for her, and we both went down. We rolled around on the dirty floor of the shack, both panting. She was hard to hold, and every time she got loose she’d hit or kick or bite me. I got over her, holding her down on the floor. She looked beautiful and wild. She bit my arm again and I slugged her in the ribs. She moaned, and then struggled free. My hand caught in the scarlet shirt. The silk tore to her navel. “Yes,” she said. I got the idea. I ripped the shirt off her, she fighting all the time and liking it. I ripped at her clothes, not caring how much I hurt her. She squirmed on the dirty floor, panting. There was blood on her mouth. I don’t know if it was mine or hers. It tasted sweet. Suddenly she stopped moving. “Now,” she said. “Now, goddam you. Now!” Later we lay on the floor. “I don’t understand you,” I said. “It’s fun, isn’t it?” “Yes.” “Then what do you care?
Jonathan Latimer (Solomon's Vineyard)
There was only one photograph that may have been the Butcher of Lodz. It was, I thought, the most horrible photograph I had ever seen. It had been taken in November 1941 in the Baluty Marketplace in Lodz. Eighteen Jews were executed by hanging in that one day for trying to escape. In this photograph you could see three of them dangling by the neck from what looked like a child’s swing set. In the background, you could see the crowd somberly gathered—even children—forced to watch as a warning. And there, standing right next to the dead bodies, with his back to the camera, was a man in a Waffen-SS uniform. It was suddenly hard to breathe. I
Harlan Coben (Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2))
Tessa whooped and Charlotte squealed as the swing spun faster. The centrifugal force weakened Hannah’s tenuous hold. Her fingers slipped, and she slid across the seat—and into Lincoln’s open arms. Immediately, he pulled her tight against him as if he’d been waiting for the moment. That figured. She felt the hardness of his chest against her back and started to pull away. His hand came to rest protectively over her midsection, searing her flesh through her shirtwaist. He pressed his lips to her ear. “Can’t let you go flying off like some Tympanuchus cupido.” She swallowed hard as her heart drummed against her rib cage. Could he feel the pounding beneath his large hand?
Lorna Seilstad (When Love Calls (The Gregory Sisters, #1))
Some had hurled spears first. Those spears thumped into our shields, making them unwieldy, but it hardly mattered. The leading Danes tripped on the hidden timbers and the men behind pushed the falling men forward. I kicked one in the face, feeling my iron-reinforced boot crush bone. Danes were sprawling at our feet while others tried to get past their fallen comrades to reach our line, and we were killing. Two men succeeded in reaching us, despite the smoking barricade, and one of those two feel to Wasp-Sting coming up from beneath his shield-rim. He had been swinging an ax that the man behind me caught on his shield and the Dane was still holding the war ax's shaft as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I twisted the blade, ripping it upward, and as Cerdic, beside me, chopped his own ax down. The man with the crushed face was holding my ankle and I stabbed at him as the blood spray from Cerdic's ax blinded me. The whimpering man at my feet tried to crawl away, but Finan stabbed his sword into his thigh, then stabbed again. A Dane had hooked up his ax over the top rim of my shield and hauled it down to expose my body to a spear-thrust, but the ax rolled off the circular shield and the spear was deflected upward and I slammed Wasp-Sting forward again, felt her bite, twisted her, and Finan was keening his mad Irish song as he added his own blade to the slaughter. “Keep the shields touching!” I shouted at my men.
Bernard Cornwell (Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6))
John is standing at the other end of the table, drinking Coke and nodding his head to the beat. I’ve been so busy running around, we’ve hardly had a chance to talk. I lean over the table and call out, “Having fun?” He nods. Then, quite suddenly, he bangs his glass down on the table, so hard the table shakes and I jump. “All right,” he says. “It’s do or die. D-day.” “What?” “Let’s dance,” John says. Shyly I say, “We don’t have to if you don’t want to, John.” “No, I want to. I didn’t take swing-dancing lessons from Stormy for nothing.” I widen my eyes. “When did you take swing dance lessons from Stormy?” “Don’t worry about it,” he says. “Just dance with me.” “Well…do you have any war bonds left?” I joke. John fishes one out of his pants pocket and slaps it on the refreshments table.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
He’s a murdering chud,” Zil was yelling. “What do you want to do? Lynch him?” Astrid demanded. That stopped the flow for a second as kids tried to figure out what “lynch” meant. But Zil quickly recovered. “I saw him do it. He used his powers to kill Harry.” “I was trying to stop you from smashing my head in!” Hunter shouted. “You’re a lying mutant freak!” “They think they can do anything they want,” another voice shouted. Astrid said, as calmly as she could while still pitching her voice to be heard, “We are not going down that path, people, dividing up between freaks and normals.” “They already did it!” Zil cried. “It’s the freaks acting all special and like their farts don’t stink.” That earned a laugh. “And now they’re starting to kill us,” Zil cried. Angry cheers. Edilio squared his shoulders and stepped into the crowd. He went first to Hank, the kid with the shotgun. He tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Give me that thing.” “No way,” Hank said. But he didn’t seem too certain. “You want to have that thing fire by accident and blow someone’s face off?” Edilio held his hand out. “Give it to me, man.” Zil rounded on Edilio. “You going to make Hunter give up his weapon? Huh? He’s got powers, man, and that’s okay, but the normals can’t have any weapon? How are we supposed to defend ourselves from the freaks?” “Man, give it a rest, huh?” Edilio said. He was doing his best to sound more weary than angry or scared. Things were already bad enough. “Zil, you want to be responsible if that gauge goes off and kills Astrid? You want to maybe give that some thought?” Zil blinked. But he said, “Dude, I’m not scared of Sam.” “Sam won’t be your problem, I will be,” Edilio snapped, losing patience. “Anything happens to her, I’ll take you down before Sam ever gets the chance.” Zil snorted derisively. “Ah, good little boy, Edilio, kissing up to the chuds. I got news for you, dilly dilly, you’re a lowly normal, just like me and the rest of us." “I’m going to let that go,” Edilio said evenly, striving to regain his cool, trying to sound calm and in control, even though he could hardly take his eyes off the twin barrels of the shotgun. “But now I’m taking that shotgun.” “No way!” Hank cried, and the next thing was an explosion so loud, Edilio thought a bomb had gone off. The muzzle flash blinded him, like camera flash going off in his face. Someone yelled in pain. Edilio staggered back, squeezed his eyes shut, trying to adjust. When he opened them again the shotgun was on the ground and the boy who’d accidentally fired it was holding his bruised hand, obviously shocked. Zil bent to grab the gun. Edilio took two steps forward and kicked Zil in the face. As Zil fell back Edilio made a grab for the shotgun. He never saw the blow that turned his knees to water and filled his head with stars. He fell like a sack of bricks, but even as he fell he lurched forward to cover the shotgun. Astrid screamed and launched herself down the stairs to protect Edilio. Antoine, the one who had hit Edilio, was raising his bat to hit Edilio again, but on the back swing he caught Astrid in the face. Antoine cursed, suddenly fearful. Zil yelled, “No, no, no!” There was a sudden rush of running feet. Down the walkway, into the street, echoing down the block.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
This is my army,” I say more loudly. “This is my army. Its evils are mine as much as yours, as much as they are Tactus’s. Every time any of you commit a crime like this, something gratuitous and perverse, you will own it and I will own it with you, because when you do something wicked, it hurts all of us.” Tactus stands there like a fool. He’s confused. I shove him hard in the chest. He stumbles back. I follow him, shoving. “What were you going to do?” I push his hand holding the leather switch back toward his chest. “I don’t know what you mean …” he murmurs as I shove him. “Come on, man! You were going to shove your prick inside someone in my army. Why not whip me while you’re at it? Why not hurt me too? It’ll be easier. Milia won’t even try to stab you. I promise.” I shove him again. He looks around. No one speaks. I strip off my shirt and go to my knees. The air is cold. Knees on stone and snow. My eyes lock with Mustang’s. She winks at me and I feel like I can do anything. I tell Tactus to give me twenty-five lashes. I’ve taken worse. His arms are weak and so is his will to do it. It still stings, but I stand up after five lashes and give the lash to Pax. They start the count at six. “Start over!” I shout. “A little rapist cur can’t swing hard enough to hurt me.” But Pax bloodywell can. My army cries in protest. They don’t understand. Golds don’t do this. Golds don’t sacrifice for one another. Leaders take; they do not give. My army cries out again. I ask them, how is this worse than the rape they were all so comfortable with? Is not Nyla now one of us? Is she not part of the body? Like Reds are. Like Obsidians are. Like all the Colors are. Pax
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
the KGB was working hard to try to ensure that Thatcher lost the 1983 general election. In the eyes of the Kremlin, Thatcher was “the Iron Lady”—a nickname intended as an insult by the Soviet army newspaper that coined it, but one in which she reveled—and the KGB had been organizing “active measures” to undermine her ever since she came to power in 1979, including the placing of negative articles with sympathetic left-wing journalists. The KGB still had contacts on the left, and Moscow clung to the illusion that it might be able to influence the election in favor of the Labour Party, whose leader, after all, was still listed in KGB files as a “confidential contact.” In an intriguing harbinger of modern times, Moscow was prepared to use dirty tricks and hidden interference to swing a democratic election in favor of its chosen candidate.
Ben Macintyre (The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War)
Stop staring at Kevin so much. You're making me fear for your life over here." "What do you mean?" "Andrew is scary territorial of him. He punched me the first time I said I'd like to get Kevin too wasted to be straight." Nicky pointed at his face, presumably where Andrew had decked him. "So yeah, I'm going to crush on safer targets until Andrew gets bored of him. That means you, since Matt's taken and I don't hate myself enough to try Seth. Congrats." "Can you take the creepy down a level?" Aaron asked. "What?" Nikcy asked. "He said he doesn't swing, so obviously he needs a push." "I don't need a push," Neil said. "I'm fine on my own." "Seriously, how are you not bored of your hand by now?" "I'm done with this conversation," Neil said. "This and every future variation of it. [...]" The stadium door slammed open as Andrew showed up at last. He swept them with a wide-eyed look as if surprised to see them all there. "Kevin wants to know what's taking you so long. Did you get lost?" "Nicky's scheming to rape Neil," Aaron said. "There are a couple flaws in his plan he needs to work out first, but he'll get there sooner or later." [...] "Wow, Nicky," Andrew said. "You start early." "Can you really blame me?" Nicky glanced back at Neil as he said it. He only took his eyes off Andrew for a second, but that was long enough for Andrew to lunge at him. Andrew caught Nicky's jersey in one hand and threw him hard up against the wall. [...] "Hey, Nicky," Andrew said in stage-whisper German. "Don't touch him, you understand?" "You know I'd never hurt him. If he says yes-" "I said no." "Jesus, you're greedy," Nicky said. "You already have Kevin. Why does it-" He went silent, but it took Neil a moment to realize why. Andrew had a short knife pressed to Nicky's Jersey. [...] Neil was no stranger to violence. He'd heard every threat in the book, but never from a man who smiled as bright as Andrew did. Apathy, anger, madness, boredom: these motivators Neil knew and understood. But Andrew was grinning like he didn't have a knife point where it'd sleep perfectly between Nicky's ribs, and it wasn't because he was joking. Neil knew Andrew meant it. If Nicky so much as breathed wrong right now, Andrew would cut his lungs to ribbons, any and all consequences be damned. Neil wondered if Andrew's medicine would let him grieve, or if he'd laugh at Nicky's funeral too. Then he wondered if a sober Andrew would act any different. Was this Andrew psychosis or his medicine? Was he flying too high to understand what he was doing, or did his medicine only add a smile to Andrew's ingrained violence? [...] Andrew let go of Nicky and spun away. [...] Aaron squized Nicky's shoulder on his way out. Nicky looked shaken as he stared after the twins, but when he realized Neil was watching him he rallied with a smile Neil didn't believe at all. "On second thought, you're not my type after all,” Nicky said [...]. "Don't let him get away with things like that." Nicky considered him for a moment, his smile fading into something small and tired. "Oh, Neil. You're going to make this so hard on yourself. Look, [...] Andrew is a little crazy. Your lines are not his lines, so you can get all huff and puff when he tramps across yours but you'll never make him understand what he did wrong. Moreover, you'll never make him care. So just stay out of his way." "He's like this because you let him get away with it," Neil said. [...] "That was my fault. [...] I said something I shouldn't have, and got what I deserved.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
I hope you blow up and bust with your gluttony. You eat up our land like a filthy hog, you banks do. You and your flunky loan companies. I hope all the banks in America eat themselves to death. We poor people will then have to eat the corpse. We’ll be good and hungry by then. Understand? Good and hungry.” She moved toward him, shaking her finger. “You tell the rest of ’em that—all the banks in the big places, all your bosses. You tell ’em for a farmer’s wife who’s worked hard and honest.” Her weathered brown hand shook nearer his face. He flattened against the swinging gate and backed in. She stopped suddenly and laughed. She turned and walked out, still laughing, a great strong laugh that shook her body and echoed through the bank. She walked into the street and climbed into the old truck and drove off. Her hearty laughter trailed down the street above the sound of the motor.
Sanora Babb (Whose Names Are Unknown)
I’m at the point of banging my head against my laptop screen when Adele starts singing to me. Glancing down I see Jake’s name flashing. The smile it brings to my lips stays there as I answer it. “Hey, baby.” “How’s it going?” “Not good. You’re incredibly hard to write about, you know.” “But incredibly easy to love.” “Well, yeah, but that’s only because you have a big willy,” I joke. “Cock, baby. Call it cock, or dick. I’ll even swing for snake. But not willy. Willy just sounds so wrong, on so many levels.” “No it doesn’t! It’s a British term. Have you forgotten those altogether?” “No, but that’s one I will gladly forget.” I hear voices in the background. “Are you with someone?” “I’m in the studio with the guys. Zane’s here.” “You just said ‘cock,’ ‘dick,’ and ‘willy’ in front of them.” I groan. He lets out a loud laugh. “They’ve heard me say worse, baby, trust me.
Samantha Towle (Wethering the Storm (The Storm, #2))
I wonder if Jack and Diane ever made it After the drums and the guitars all faded Was the best they could do good enough Or did the heartland just swallow 'em up How did my mom and my dad ever do it If there were troubles then we never knew it I guess they had each other and that was enough You know you can't keep the ground from shaking, no matter how hard you try, You can't keep the sunsets from fading, you gotta treat you love like You're jumping off a rope swing maybe 'cause the whole thing is really just a shot in the dark You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart What am I gonna tell my kids when they see All of this bull that goes down on TV When the whole world is down on its luck I gotta make sure they keep that chin up Cry when it hurts, laugh when it's funny Chase after the dream, don't chase after the money And know we got each other, that's what's up 'Cause you can't keep the ground from shaking, no matter how hard you try You can't keep the sunsets from fading, you gotta treat you love like You're jumping off a rope swing maybe cause the whole thing is really just a shot in the dark You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart 'Cause you can't keep the ground from shaking, no matter how hard you try You can't keep the sunsets from fading, you gotta treat you love like You're jumping off a rope swing maybe 'cause the whole thing is really just a shot in the dark You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart You gotta love, love, love, love You gotta love, love, love, love You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart
Old Dominion
Ahoy!” a seaman called out. “The English frigate Polaris, ten days out from Antigua, bound for Portsmouth.” “Ahoy, yerself!” It was O’Shea’s rough brogue. She’d never heard sweeter music. “This be the clipper Sophia, of no particular country at the moment. Seven days out from Tortola, bound for…well, bound for here. Captain requests permission to board.” Gray. It had to be Gray. The officers of the Polaris exchanged wary looks. “Oh, for Heaven’s sake.” Sophia pushed forward to the ship’s rail and cupped her hands around her mouth, calling, “Permission to board granted!” A cheer rose up from the other ship’s deck. “It’s her, all right!” a voice called. Stubb’s, Sophia thought. Oh, but she hardly cared who was on the other deck. She cared only for the strong figure swinging across the watery divide as the two ships came abreast. Turning back toward the center of the ship, she pushed her way through the sweaty throng of sailors, desperate to get to him. Her foot caught on a rope, and she tripped- But it didn’t matter. Gray was there to catch her. And he was still wearing those sea-weathered, fire-scarred boots. No doubt for sentimental reasons. “Steady there,” he murmured, catching her by the elbows. She looked up to meet his beautiful blue-green eyes. “I have you.” “Oh, Gray.” She launched herself into his arms, clinging to his neck as he laughed and spun her around. “You’re here.” “I’m here.” And he was. Every strong, solid, handsome inch of him. Sophia buried her face in his throat, breathing in his scent. Lord, how she’d missed him. She pulled away, bracing her hands on his shoulders to study his face. “I can’t believe you came after me.” “I can’t believe you actually left.” He lowered her to the deck, and her hands slid to his arms. “I thought you were bluffing with that bit. I’d have never allowed you to go.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Gerda sends Astrid flying back, then swings to her own board. Astrid soars now like a rider taming a wild beast, bending the trapeze to her own will. She spins by her ankles, by a lone knee, barely touching the bar to which I always cling fast. Gerda watches Astrid with disinterest, almost distaste. She and the other women do not like Astrid. Within days of arriving, I heard the whispers: they resent Astrid for returning and taking her spot at the top of the aerial act while they had worked for years, and for coupling up with Peter, one of the few eligible men the war had left. The girls at the home were much the same, sniping and whispering behind each other’s backs. Why are we so hard on one another? I wonder. Hadn’t the world already given us challenges enough? But if Astrid notices their coldness, she doesn’t seem to mind. Or perhaps she just doesn’t have need for any of them. She certainly doesn’t need me
Pam Jenoff (The Orphan's Tale)
Through the dimness she could just make him out, stretched on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. He might have been silent, but he hadn't been asleep. She could feel his frown as he looked at her. "What are you doing?" "Moving closer to you." Dropping her gowns, she shook out her cloak and laid it next to his. "Why?" "Mice." He let a heartbeat pass, then asked, carefully, "You're afraid of mice?" She nodded. "Rodents. I don't discriminate." Swinging around, she sat on her cloak, then picked up her gowns and wriggled back and closer to him. "If I'm next to you, then either they'll give us both a wide berth, or if they decide to take a nibble, there's at least an even chance they'll nibble you first." His chest shook. He was struggling not to laugh. But at least he was trying. "Besides," she said, lying down and snuggling under her massed gowns, "I'm cold." A moment ticked past, then he sighed. He shifted in the hay beside her. She didn't know what he did, but suddenly she was sliding the last inches down a slope that hadn't been there before. She fetched up against him, against his side-hard, muscled, and wonderfully warm. Her senses leapt greedily, pleasantly shocked, delightedly surprised; she caught her breath and slapped them down. Desperately; this was Breckenridge-this was definitely not the time. His arm shifted and came around her, cradling her shoulders and gathering her against him. "This doesn't mean anything." The whispered words drifted down to her. Comfort, safety, warmth-it meant all those things. "I know," she murmured back. Her senses weren't listening. Her body now lay alongside his. Her breast brushed his side; through various layers her thighs grazed his. Her heartbeat deepened, sped up a little, too. Yet despite the sensual awareness, she could feel reassurance along with his warmth stealing through her, relaxing her tensed muscles bit by bit as, greatly daring, she settled her cheek on his chest. This doesn't mean anything. She knew what he meant. This was just for now, for this strange moment out of their usual lives in which he and she were just two people finding ways to weather a difficult situation. She quieted. Listened. The sound of his heartbeat, steady and sure, blocked out any rustlings. Thinking of the strange moment, of what made it so, she murmured, "We're fugitives, aren't we?" "Yes." "In a strange country, one not really our own, with no way to prove who we are." "Yes." "And a stranger, a very likely dangerous highlander, is pursuing us." "Hmm." She should feel frightened. She should be seriously worried. Instead, she closed her eyes, and with her cheek pillowed on Breckenridge's chest, his arm like warm steel around her, smoothly and serenely fell asleep. Breckenridge held her against him, and through senses far more attuned than he wished, followed the incremental falling away of her tension...until she slept. Softly, silently, in his arms, with the gentle huff of her breathing ruffling his senses, the seductive weight of her slender body stretched out against his the subtlest of tortures. Why had he done it? She might have slept close to him, but she would never have pushed to sleep in his arms. That had been entirely his doing, and he hadn't even stopped to think. What worried him most was that even if he had thought, had reasoned and debated, the result would have been the same. When it came to her, whatever the situation, there never was any question, no doubt in his mind as to what he should do. Her protection, her safety-caring for her. From the first instant he'd laid eyes on her four years ago, that had been his mind's fixation. Its decision. Nothing he'd done, nothing she'd done, had ever succeeded in altering that. But as to the why of that, the reason behind it...even now he didn't, was quite certain and absolutely sure he didn't, need to consciously know.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Imagine going to a sporting event with sixty thousand seats around the stadium. You arrive early with your grandmother, and the two of you take the first seats. Next to your grandmother sits her grandmother, your great-great-grandmother. Next to her is your great-great-great-great-grandmother. The stadium fills with the ghosts of preceding grandmothers. An hour later the seat next to you is occupied by the last to sit down, the ancestor of you all. She nudges your elbow, and you turn to find a strange nonhuman face. Beneath a low forehead and big brow-ridge, bright dark eyes surmount a massive jaw. Her long, muscular arms and short legs intimate her gymnastic climbing ability. She is your ancestor and an australopithecine, hardly a companion your grandmother can be expected to enjoy. She grabs an overhead beam and swings away over the crowd to steal some peanuts from a vendor. She is connected to you by over three million years of rain and sun and searching for food in the rich and scary African bush.
Richard W. Wrangham (Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human)
Isn't there something in Genesis about not looking back? A stupid glance over my shoulder showed her expression relaxing, glad I wasn't taking anything that couldn't be replaced and glad I didn't destroy anything that couldn't be repaired. "Do you care for me, Georgia?" I asked her. "Tell me you don't and I'm out of your life forever." She stood in the driveway with her arms wrapped around herself like she was freezing. "Andre is on his way." "I didn't ask you about no Andre." "He'll be here in a minute." My head hurt, but I pressed her. "It's a yes-or-no question." "Can we talk when Andre gets back? We can-" "Stop talking about him. I want to know if you love me." "Andre…" She said his name one time too many. For what happened next, she would have to take some of the blame. I asked her a simple question and she refused to give me a simple answer. I turned from her and made a sharp left turn, pounding across the yard, feeling the dry grass crunch under my shoes. Six long strides put me at the base of the massive tree. I touched the rough bark, an instant of reflection, to give Old Hickey the benefit of the doubt. But in reality, a hickory tree was a useless hunk of wood. Tall, and that's all. To break the shell of a hickory nut, you needed a hammer and an act of Congress, and even then you needed a screwdriver to get at the meat, which was about as tasty as a clod of limestone. Nobody would ever mourn a hickory tree except Celestial, and maybe Andre. When I was a boy, so little I couldn't manage much more than a George Washington hatcher, Big Roy taught me how to take down a tree. Bend your knees, swing hard and low, follow up with a straight chop. Celestial was crying like the baby we never had, yelping and mewing with every swing. Believe me when I say that I didn't slow my pace, even though my shoulders burned and my arms strained and quivered. With every blow, wedges of fresh wood flew from the wounded trunk peppering my face with hot bites. "Speak up, Georgia," I shouted, hacking at the thick grey bark, experiencing pleasure and power with each stroke. "I asked you if you loved me.
Tayari Jones (An American Marriage)
Elizabeth was not entirely right. The climb was steep enough, but the trunk, which originally felt quite light, seemed to gain a pound of weight with every step they took. A few yards from the house both ladies paused to rest again, then Elizabeth resolutely grabbed the handle on her end. “You go to the door, Lucy,” she said breathlessly, worried for the older woman’s health if she had to lug the trunk any further. “I’ll just drag this along.” Miss Throckmorton-Jones took one look at her poor, bedraggled charge, and rage exploded in her breast that they’d been brought so low as this. Like an angry general she gave her gloves an irate yank, turned on her heel, marched up to the front door, and lifted her umbrella. Using its handle like a club, she rapped hard upon the door. Behind her Elizabeth doggedly dragged the trunk. “You don’t suppose there’s no one home?” She panted, hauling the trunk the last few feet. “If they’re in there, they must be deaf!” said Lucinda. She brought up her umbrella again and began swinging at the door in a way that sent rhythmic thunder through the house. “Open up, I say!” she shouted, and on the third downswing the door suddenly lurched open to reveal a startled middle-aged man who was struck on the head by the handle of the descending umbrella. “God’s teeth!” Jake swore, grabbing his head and glowering a little dizzily at the homely woman who was glowering right back at him, her black bonnet crazily askew atop her wiry gray hair. “It’s God’s ears you need, not his teeth!” the sour-faced woman informed him as she caught Elizabeth’s sleeve and pulled her one step into the house. “We are expected,” she informed Jake. In his understandably dazed state, Jake took another look at the bedraggled, dusty ladies and erroneously assumed they were the women from the village come to clean and cook for Ian and him. His entire countenance changed, and a broad grin swept across his ruddy face. The growing lump on his head forgiven and forgotten, he stepped back. “Welcome, welcome,” he said expansively, and he made a broad, sweeping gesture with his hand that encompassed the entire dusty room. “Where do you want to begin?” “With a hot bath,” said Lucinda, “followed by some tea and refreshments.” From the corner of her eye Elizabeth glimpsed a tall man who was stalking in from a room behind the one where they stood, and an uncontrollable tremor of dread shot through her. “Don’t know as I want a bath just now,” Jake said. “Not for you, you dolt, for Lady Cameron.” Elizabeth could have sworn Ian Thornton stiffened with shock. His head jerked toward her as if trying to see past the rim of her bonnet, but Elizabeth was absolutely besieged with cowardice and kept her head averted. “You want a bath?” Jake repeated dumbly, staring at Lucinda. “Indeed, but Lady Cameron’s must come first. Don’t just stand there,” she snapped, threatening his midsection with her umbrella. “Send servants down to the road to fetch our trunks at once.” The point of the umbrella swung meaningfully toward the door, then returned to jab Jake’s middle. “But before you do that, inform your master that we have arrived.” “His master,” said a biting voice from a rear doorway, “is aware of that.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Otter did this! I didn’t do anything wrong. He tricked me! He tricked me and left! Just like I knew he would! I think I hear him call my name, but my ears are pounding too hard to be sure. It sounds like the ocean. Im about to start running when I feel strong arms wrap around me from behind, clasping on my chest. I turn around to swing at him but can only get partway before I get caught in a vise grip. “Let go of me!” I snarl, wanting to kick and bite and punch and hurt. “Bear,” he says, his voice grumbling in my ear. “Bear.” “Im not like you!” I say, still struggling to get away. “Im not like that!” “I know, Bear. I know.” His breath is hot against my cold skin. “Dont you think I know that? I shouldnt have let it happen. Im sorry. Im so sorry.” I stop fighting him, feeling all the anger fall out of me like someone flipped a switch. “Why are you here?” I moan. “Why did you come back?” He grabs me by the chin, forcing me to stare into his eyes. “It has nothing to do with what happened between us. As far as I am concerned, that was a mistake. We never should have kissed.
T.J. Klune (Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1))
She went to move around Jacques, strongly objecting to the this woman label. She did have a name. She was a person. She had a feeling they all thought her the hysterical type. She certainly hadn’t managed to show them her normal calm self. Jacques stepped backward and his arm swept behind him to pin her against the wall. He never took his eyes from the trio before them. He knew he was unstable, still fighting to hold on to reason when his every instinct was to attack. He trusted none of them and would not allow Shea to be put in any danger. Shea retaliated with a hard pinch. She was not going to cower behind her wild man like some seventeenth-century heroine fainting with the vapors. So she was surrounded by a few vampires. Big deal. Carpathians. Jacques sounded amused. If you laugh at me, Jacques, I might find another wooden stake and come after you myself, she warned him silently. “Well, for heaven’s sake.” Shea sounded exasperated as she addressed the group. “We’re all civilized, aren’t we?” She shoved at Jacques’ broad back. “Aren’t we?” “Absolutely.” Raven stepped forward, ignoring Mikhail’s restraining hand. “At least the women are. The men around here haven’t quite graduated from the swinging-through-trees stage yet.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
I am running out of space--the platform is ending--I seize the handle and swing myself in, my muscles absorbing the pull forward. Tris stands inside the car, wearing a small, crooked smile. Her black jacket is zipped up to her throat, framing her face in darkness. She grabs my collar and pulls me in for a kiss. As she pulls away, she says, “I always loved watching you do that.” I grin. “Is this what you had planned?” Caleb demands from behind me. “For her to be here when you kill me? That’s--” “Kill him?” Tris asks me, not looking at her brother. “Yeah, I let him think he was being taken to his execution,” I say, loud enough that he can hear. “You know, sort of like he did to you in Erudite headquarters.” “I…it isn’t true?” His face, lit by the moon, is slack with shock. I notice that his shirt’s buttons are in the wrong buttonholes. “No,” I say. “I just saved your life, actually.” He starts to say something, and I interrupt him. “Might not want to thank me just yet. We’re taking you with us. Outside the fence.” Outside the fence--the place he once tried so hard to avoid that he turned on his own sister. It seems a more fitting punishment than death, anyway. Death is so quick, so certain. Where we’re going now, nothing is certain.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
She stands at the hairpin turn on Night Road. On either side of her, giant evergreens grow clustered together, rising high into the blue summer sky. Even now, in midday, this stubbled, winding ribbon of asphalt holds the morning mist close. This road is like her life; knee deep in shadow. Once, it had been the quickest way home and she’d taken it easily, turning onto its potholed surface without a second thought, rarely noticing how the earth dropped away on either edge. Her mind had been on other things back then, on the miniutae of everyday life. Chores. Errands. Schedules. She hadn’t taken this route in years. Just the thought of it had been enough to make her turn the steering wheel too sharply; better to go off the road than to find herself here. Or so she’d thought until today. People on the island still talk about what happened in the summer of ’04. They sit on barstools and in porch swings and spout opinions, half truths, making judgments that aren’t theirs to make. They think a few columns in a newspaper give them the facts they need. But the facts are hardly what matter. If anyone sees her here, just standing on this lonely roadside in a gathering mist, it will all come up again. Like her, they’ll remember that night, so long ago, when the rain turned to ash….
Kristin Hannah (Night Road)
I always wanted to be the prettiest person in a room', I began my story to Aaron and Wils, feeling desperate for their attention, like a runaway. Lee was prettier than me. She was a better girlfirend. 'Or I always wanted to look like other girls, someone else, not myself, there was always someone who looked better and more beautiful than me.' Aaron took a swing of rum. 'I think you're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen,' he said. 'Once in Grade 8, listen to this, you guys: I slapped my best friend Jen accross the face. She was the most popular, most good-looking girl in the school. I slapped her because she was laughing hysterically. She'd started laughing so hard at her own story about some guy, I don't even remember what the story was, and her laughs became yaps, like hysterical air-swallowing. I just wanted her to shut up so badly that I slapped her. Her ponytail swung from side to side but even that didn't stop her yapping for a second. You get what happened? I mean, right after I smacked her? She started really laughinh after I slapped her cheek. My slapping had actually made things worse. I mean, she couldn't stop that terrible laughing-crying-yapping for another ten minutes!' Wils was smiling at my story but Aaron was grim. 'It felt good to slap her', I said. 'To slap the most beautiful girl to attempt to stop her self-destruction...
Tamara Faith Berger (Maidenhead)
My Father Comes Home From Work" My father comes home from work sweating through layers of bleached cotton t-shirts sweating through his wool plaid shirt. He kisses my mother starching our school dresses at the ironing board, swings his metal lunchbox onto the formica kitchen table rattling the remnants of the lunch she packed that morning before daylight: crumbs of baloney sandwiches, empty metal thermos of coffee, cores of hard red apples that fueled his body through the packing and unpacking of sides of beef into the walk-in refrigerators at James Allen and Sons Meat Packers. He is twenty-six. Duty propels him each day through the dark to Butcher Town where steers walk streets from pen to slaughterhouse. He whispers Jesus Christ to no one in particular. We hear him-- me, my sister Linda, my baby brother Willy, and Mercedes la cubana’s daughter who my mother babysits. When he comes home we have to be quiet. He comes into the dark living room. Dick Clark’s American Bandstand lights my father’s face white and unlined like a movie star’s. His black hair is combed into a wavy pompadour. He sinks into the couch, takes off work boots thick damp socks, rises to carry them to the porch. Leaving the room he jerks his chin toward the teen gyrations on the screen, says, I guess it beats carrying a brown bag. He pauses, for a moment to watch.
Barbara Brinson Curiel
maybe he hasn’t been judging Carl for other reasons. Maybe Owen doesn’t judge him because Carl returns the favor, by not judging a secret Owen felt safe confiding in Carl. Even if that theory is wrong, I still need to talk to him. Because Carl’s also the only lawyer I know in town. I knock on the front door, but no one answers. Not Carl, not Patty. It’s odd because Carl works from home. He likes to be around for his kids—his two young kids—who usually nap at this time. Carl and Patty are sticklers for their children’s schedule. Patty lectured me about it during our first night out together. Patty had just celebrated her twenty-eighth birthday, which made the lecture all the more enjoyable. If I was still able to have children—that was how she said it—I was going to have to be careful not to let them rule the roost. I’d have to show them who was in charge. That meant a schedule. That meant, in her case, a 12:30 P.M. nap every day. It’s 12:45. If Carl isn’t home, why isn’t Patty? Except that through the living room blinds, I see that Carl is home. I see him standing there, hiding behind those blinds, waiting for me to go. I knock on the door again, pressing hard on the doorbell. I’m going to ring the doorbell for the rest of the afternoon until he lets me in. Kids’ naps be damned. Carl swings the door open. He is holding a beer; his hair is neatly combed. Those are the first indicators that something strange is going on. His hair is usually uncombed,
Laura Dave (The Last Thing He Told Me)
Muggles have garden gnomes, too, you know,” Harry told Ron as they crossed the lawn. “Yeah, I’ve seen those things they think are gnomes,” said Ron, bent double with his head in a peony bush, “like fat little Santa Clauses with fishing rods. . . .” There was a violent scuffling noise, the peony bush shuddered, and Ron straightened up. “This is a gnome,” he said grimly. “Gerroff me! Gerroff me!” squealed the gnome. It was certainly nothing like Santa Claus. It was small and leathery looking, with a large, knobby, bald head exactly like a potato. Ron held it at arm’s length as it kicked out at him with its horny little feet; he grasped it around the ankles and turned it upside down. “This is what you have to do,” he said. He raised the gnome above his head (“Gerroff me!”) and started to swing it in great circles like a lasso. Seeing the shocked look on Harry’s face, Ron added, “It doesn’t hurt them — you’ve just got to make them really dizzy so they can’t find their way back to the gnomeholes.” He let go of the gnome’s ankles: It flew twenty feet into the air and landed with a thud in the field over the hedge. “Pitiful,” said Fred. “I bet I can get mine beyond that stump.” Harry learned quickly not to feel too sorry for the gnomes. He decided just to drop the first one he caught over the hedge, but the gnome, sensing weakness, sank its razor-sharp teeth into Harry’s finger and he had a hard job shaking it off — until — “Wow, Harry — that must’ve been fifty feet. . . .” The air was soon thick with flying gnomes.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
The day Stamp Paid saw the two backs through the window and then hurried down the steps, he believed the undecipherable language clamoring around the house was the mumbling of the black and angry dead. Very few had died in bed, like Baby Suggs, and none that he knew of, including Baby, had lived a livable life. Even the educated colored: the long-school people, the doctors, the teachers, the paper-writers and businessmen had a hard row to hoe. In addition to having to use their heads to get ahead, they had the weight of the whole race sitting there. You needed two heads for that. Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn't the jungle blacks brought with them to this place from the other (livable) place. It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread. In, through and after life, it spread, until it invaded the whites who had made it. Touched them every one. Changed and altered them. Made them bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
I soon found my feet, and was much less homesick than I was at prep school. Thank God. I learned that with plenty of free time on our hands, and being encouraged to fill the time with “interests,” I could come up with some great adventures. A couple of my best friends and I started climbing the huge old oak trees around the grounds, finding monkey routes through the branches that allowed us to travel between the trees, high up above the ground. It was brilliant. We soon had built a real-life Robin Hood den, with full-on branch swings, pulleys, and balancing bars high up in the treetops. We crossed the Thames on the high girders above a railway bridge, we built rafts out of old Styrofoam and even made a boat out of an old bathtub to go down the river in. (Sadly this sank, as the water came in through the overflow hole, which was a fundamental flaw. Note to self: Test rafts before committing to big rivers in them.) We spied on the beautiful French girls who worked in the kitchens, and even made camps on the rooftops overlooking the walkway they used on their way back from work. We would vainly attempt to try and chat them up as they passed. In between many of these antics we had to work hard academically, as well as dress in ridiculous clothes, consisting of long tailcoats and waistcoats. This developed in me the art of making smart clothes look ragged, and ever since, I have maintained a lifelong love of wearing good-quality clothes in a messy way. It even earned me the nickname of “Scug,” from the deputy-headmaster. In Eton slang this roughly translates as: “A person of no account, and of dirty appearance.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Tiffany’s basket was on the table. It had a present in it, of course. Everyone knew you took a small present along when you went visiting, but the person you were visiting was supposed to be surprised when you gave it to her, and say things like “Oooh, you shouldn’t have.” “I brought you something,” said Tiffany, swinging the big black kettle onto the fire. “You’ve got no call to be bringing me presents, I’m sure,” said Granny sternly. “Yes, well,” said Tiffany, and left it at that. She heard Granny lift the lid of the basket. There was a kitten in it. “Her mother is Pinky, the Widow Cable’s cat,” said Tiffany, to fill the silence. “You shouldn’t have,” growled the voice of Granny Weatherwax. “It was no trouble.” Tiffany smiled at the fire. “I can’t be havin’ with cats.” “She’ll keep the mice down,” said Tiffany, still not turning around. “Don’t have mice.” Nothing for them to eat, thought Tiffany. Aloud, she said, “Mrs. Earwig’s got six big black cats.” In the basket, the white kitten would be staring up at Granny Weatherwax with the sad, shocked expression of all kittens. You test me, I test you, Tiffany thought. “I don’t know what I shall do with it, I’m sure. It’ll have to sleep in the goat shed,” said Granny Weatherwax. Most witches had goats. [...] When Tiffany left, later on, Granny Weatherwax said good-bye at the door and very carefully shut the kitten outside. Tiffany went across the clearing to where she’d tied up Miss Treason’s broomstick. But she didn’t get on, not yet. She stepped back up against a holly bush, and went quiet until she wasn’t there anymore, until everything about her said: I’m not here. Everyone could see pictures in the fire and in clouds. You just turned that the other way around. You turned off that bit of yourself that said you were there. You dissolved. Anyone looking at you would find you very hard to see. Your face became a bit of leaf and shadow, your body a piece of tree and bush. The other person’s mind would fill in the gaps. Looking like just another piece of holly bush, she watched the door. The wind had got up, warm but worrisome, shaking the yellow and red leaves off the sycamore trees and whirring them around the clearing. The kitten tried to bat a few of them out of the air and then sat there, making sad little mewling noises. Any minute now, Granny Weatherwax would think Tiffany had gone and would open the door and— “Forgot something?” said Granny by her ear. She was the bush. “Er...it’s very sweet. I just thought you might, you know, grow to like it,” said Tiffany, but she was thinking: Well, she could have got here if she ran, but why didn’t I see her? Can you run and hide at the same time? “Never you mind about me, my girl,” said the witch. “You run along back to Miss Treason and give her my best wishes, right now. But”—and her voice softened a little—“that was good hiding you did just then. There’s many as would not have seen you. Why, I hardly heard your hair growin’!” When Tiffany’s stick had left the clearing, and Granny Weatherwax had satisfied herself in other little ways that she had really gone, she went back inside, carefully ignoring the kitten again. After a few minutes, the door creaked open a little. It may have been just a draft. The kitten trotted inside...
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
I have lived centuries and endured vampire hunts, wars, and betrayals. Until you came into my life, I have never lost control. I never had anything I wanted so much. I never had anything to lose.” She pulled his head down to her and pressed little healing kisses to his throat, to his strong jaw, to the hard corners of his mouth. “You are a good man, Mikhail.” She grinned impishly, her blue eyes teasing. “You just have too much power for your own good. But don’t worry, I know this American girl. She’s very disrespectful, and she’ll take all that arrogant starch out of you.” His answering laughter was slow in coming, but with it the terrible tension drained out of him. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off her feet, swinging her around, crushing her to him. As always, her heart jumped wildly. His mouth fastened on hers as he whirled them across the room to land on the bed. Raven’s laughter was soft and taunting. “We can’t possibly again.” His body was settling over hers, his knee nudging her thighs apart so he could press against her soft, welcoming body. “I think you should just stay naked and waiting for me,” he growled, stroking her to ensure her readiness. She lifted her hips invitingly. “I’m not sure we’ll know how to do this in a bed.” The last word was a gasp of pleasure as he joined their bodies. His mouth found hers again, laughter mingling with the sweet taste of passion. His hands shaped her breasts possessively and then tunneled in her hair. There was so much joy in her heart, in her mind, so much compassion and sweetness. His eternity would be filled with her laughter and her zest for life. He laughed aloud for the sheer joy of it.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Taking the catcher’s place, he sank to his haunches and gestured to Arthur. “Throw some easy ones to begin with,” he called, and Arthur nodded, seeming to lose his apprehensiveness. “Yes, milord!” Arthur wound up and released a relaxed, straight pitch. Squinting in determination, Lilian gripped the bat hard, stepped into the swing, and turned her hips to lend more impetus to the motion. To her disgust, she missed the ball completely. Turning around, she gave Westcliff a pointed glance. “Well, your advice certainly helped,” she muttered sarcastically. “Elbows,” came his succinct reminder, and he tossed the ball to Arthur. “Try again.” Heaving a sigh, Lillian raised the bat and faced the pitcher once more. Arthur drew his arm back, and lunged forward as he delivered another fast ball. Lillian brought the bat around with a grunt of effort, finding an unexpected ease in adjusting the swing to just the right angle, and she received a jolt of visceral delight as she felt the solid connection between the bat and the leather ball. With a loud crack the ball was catapulted high into the air, over Arthur’s head, beyond the reach of those in the back field. Shrieking in triumph, Lillian dropped the bat and ran headlong toward the first sanctuary post, rounding it and heading toward second. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Daisy hurtling across the field to scoop up the ball, and in nearly the same motion, throwing it to the nearest boy. Increasing her pace, her feet flying beneath her skirts, Lillian rounded third, while the ball was tossed to Arthur. Before her disbelieving eyes, she saw Westcliff standing at the last post, Castle Rock, with his hands held up in readiness to catch the ball. How could he? After showing her how to hit the ball, he was now going to tag her out? “Get out of my way!” Lillian shouted, running pellmell toward the post, determined to reach it before he caught the ball. “I’m not going to stop!” “Oh, I’ll stop you,” Westcliff assured her with a grin, standing right in front of the post. He called to the pitcher. “Throw it home, Arthur!” She would go through him, if necessary. Letting out a warlike cry, Lillian slammed full-length into him, causing him to stagger backward just as his fingers closed over the ball. Though he could have fought for balance, he chose not to, collapsing backward onto the soft earth with Lillian tumbling on top of him, burying him in a heap of skirts and wayward limbs. A cloud of fine beige dust enveloped them upon their descent. Lillian lifted herself on his chest and glared down at him. At first she thought that he had been winded, but it immediately became apparent that he was choking with laughter. “You cheated!” she accused, which only seemed to make him laugh harder. She struggled for breath, drawing in huge lungfuls of air. “You’re not supposed…to stand in front…of the post…you dirty cheater!” Gasping and snorting, Westcliff handed her the ball with the ginger reverence of someone yielding a priceless artifact to a museum curator. Lillian took the ball and hurled it aside. “I was not out,” she told him, jabbing her finger into his hard chest for emphasis. It felt as if she were poking a hearthstone. “I was safe, do you…hear me?” She heard Arthur’s amused voice as he approached them. “Actually, miss—” “Never argue with a lady, Arthur,” the earl interrupted, having managed to regain his powers of speech, and the boy grinned at him. “Yes, milord.” “Are there ladies here?” Daisy asked cheerfully, coming from the field. “I don’t see any.” Still smiling, the earl looked up at Lillian.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
He opened the door after letting me pound on it for almost five minutes. His truck was in the carport. I knew he was here. He pulled the door open and walked back inside without looking at me or saying a word. I followed him in, and he dropped onto a sofa I’d never seen before. His face was scruffy. I’d never seen him anything but clean-shaven. Not even in pictures. He had bags under his eyes. He’d aged ten years in three days. The apartment was a mess. The boxes were gone. It looked like he had finally unpacked. But laundry was piled up in a basket so full it spilled out onto the floor. Empty food containers littered the kitchen countertops. The coffee table was full of empty beer bottles. His bed was unmade. The place smelled stagnant and dank. A vicious urge to take care of him took hold. The velociraptor tapped its talon on the floor. Josh wasn’t okay. Nobody was okay. And that was what made me not okay. “Hey,” I said, standing in front of him. He didn’t look at me. “Oh, so you’re talking to me now,” he said bitterly, taking a long pull on a beer. “Great. What do you want?” The coldness of his tone took me aback, but I kept my face still. “You haven’t been to the hospital.” His bloodshot eyes dragged up to mine. “Why would I? He’s not there. He’s fucking gone.” I stared at him. He shook his head and looked away from me. “So what do you want? You wanted to see if I’m okay? I’m not fucking okay. My best friend is brain-dead. The woman I love won’t even fucking speak to me.” He picked up a beer cap from the coffee table and threw it hard across the room. My OCD winced. “I’m doing this for you,” I whispered. “Well, don’t,” he snapped. “None of this is for me. Not any of it. I need you, and you abandoned me. Just go. Get out.” I wanted to climb into his lap. Tell him how much I missed him and that I wouldn’t leave him again. I wanted to make love to him and never be away from him ever again in my life—and clean his fucking apartment. But instead, I just stood there. “No. I’m not leaving. We need to talk about what’s happening at the hospital.” He glared up at me. “There’s only one thing I want to talk about. I want to talk about how you and I can be in love with each other and you won’t be with me. Or how you can stand not seeing me or speaking to me for weeks. That’s what I want to talk about, Kristen.” My chin quivered. I turned and went to the kitchen and grabbed a trash bag from under the sink. I started tossing take-out containers and beer bottles. I spoke over my shoulder. “Get up. Go take a shower. Shave. Or don’t if that’s the look you’re going for. But I need you to get your shit together.” My hands were shaking. I wasn’t feeling well. I’d been light-headed and slightly overheated since I went to Josh’s fire station looking for him. But I focused on my task, shoving trash into my bag. “If Brandon is going to be able to donate his organs, he needs to come off life support within the next few days. His parents won’t do it, and Sloan doesn’t get a say. You need to go talk to them.” Hands came up under my elbows, and his touch radiated through me. “Kristen, stop.” I spun on him. “Fuck you, Josh! You need help, and I need to help you!” And then as fast as the anger surged, the sorrow took over. The chains on my mood swing snapped, and feelings broke through my walls like water breaching a crevice in a dam. I began to cry. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The strength that drove me through my days just wasn’t available to me when it came to Josh. I dropped the trash bag at his feet and put my hands over my face and sobbed. He wrapped his arms around me, and I completely lost it.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
It was a particular pleasure when she climbed into the dark confines of her coach and sat back with a deep sigh, all without realizing he was sitting in the shadows across from her. She rapped on the roof three times, and the coach pulled away with the horses at a sedate walk. “Did you have fun, Miss Windham?” She didn’t scream, which was a point in her favor, though her hand disappeared into her reticule. “You might hit me at this range, even in the dark,” Hazlit said. “But I really wish you wouldn’t. In such a situation, even a gentleman might be forced to take desperate measures.” “Good evening, Mr. Hazlit. Not quite a pleasure to see you.” “You hired me, Miss Windham. Were we to communicate exclusively in notes written in disappearing ink?” “No.” Her ungloved hand emerged from her reticule. “I meant I can’t quite see you.” She took off her other glove and stuffed them both into her bag. “I suppose it makes sense you’d prefer to meet in private. I wasn’t sure whether to approach you, since you insist on determining the time and place you meet with a client. You did not look to be enjoying yourself.” “You did.” How could peevishness creep into only two syllables? In the dark, her teeth gleamed in a smile. “I did. A little bit, I did. There are advantages to being on the shelf, though I’ve yet to truly appreciate them.” “One being that you can tease and flirt and carry on like a strumpet all night?” The peevishness was gone, but Hazlit hardly liked himself for the condescension that had taken its place. “If I’m flirting and teasing, then the gentlemen are also flirting and teasing, and yet you hardly compare them to streetwalkers. They are being gallant, but you accuse me of being immoral. Hardly fair, Mr. Hazlit.” “They do not have their hair swinging around their backsides like some dollymop working the docks.” She went still, as if he’d slapped her, and Hazlit had to wonder if she wouldn’t be justified in shooting him.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
I’m sorry, Rosie,” Silas says when he sees the sadness in my eyes. I shake my head, trying to brush the look away, but Silas isn’t easily deterred. He hesitates, then leans on the counter beside me, moving slowly as if he needs verification that each move is acceptable, wanted. “Hey,” he says, resting two fingers on my arm. It starts as a friendly gesture. I press my lips together as he slides his palm up my arm and around his shoulders. Silas paused, and though I’m not certain, I think he realizes that the touch is far more friendly as well—a thought that makes me dizzy but practically forces me to move my own hand to the small of his back. I close my eyes and inhale, and I feel Silas’s breath on my forehead, hear his relaxed heartbeats. His lips are so close to me, I could easily tilt my head back and kiss him if I were braver. It’s hard to not sigh, like the exhausted breath is building up in my chest and I’m holding it back, though more than anything I want to release it, to truly hold myself against him— Scarlett’s shower cuts off. Silas snatches his arm away and I lean back up, head swirling from the quick change. “Um . . . right,” Silas says, looking startled. He looks at me. “Okay, back to studying Potentials, wolves, important stuff . . .” He shakes his head as if he’s casting away a mental fog. I bite my lip. I want to get out of here—I need to get out of here, or the thumping desire for Silas is going to consume me. There’s no way Scarlett won’t figure it out if I can’t escape and get my mind off him. It’s just for a little while—I can go get groceries or something. Silas will help her research. We can’t keep paying for Chinese food. I meet Silas’s eyes, dashes of sky color in the monotone apartment. “I’ll be back,” I say, then dart for the door. “Wait!” he whispers sharply. He lunges toward the couch and tosses me the belt with my knives on it. “Just in case.” I catch it with one hand and swing it around my waist. Silas gives me a sly smile—does he know the affect that smile has on me?
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE Some years ago, I heard a story which has been making the rounds in Midwest A.A. circles for years. I don’t have any names to back up this story, but I have heard it from many sources, and the circumstances sound believable. A man in a small Wisconsin city had been on the program for about three years and had enjoyed contented sobriety through that period. Then bad luck began to hit him in bunches. The firm for which he had worked for some fifteen years was sold; his particular job was phased out of existence, and the plant moved to another city. For several months, he struggled along at odd jobs while looking for a company that needed his specialized experience. Then another blow hit him. His wife was forced to enter a hospital for major surgery, and his company insurance had expired. At this point he cracked, and decided to go on an all-out binge. He didn’t want to stage this in the small city, where everyone knew his sobriety record. So he went to Chicago, checked in at a North Side hotel, and set forth on his project. It was Friday night, and the bars were filled with a swinging crowd. But he was in no mood for swinging—he just wanted to get quietly, miserably drunk. Finally, he found a basement bar on a quiet side street, practically deserted. He sat down on a bar stool and ordered a double bourbon on the rocks. The bartender said, “Yes, sir,” and reached for a bottle. Then the bartender stopped in his tracks, took a long, hard look at the customer, leaned over the bar, and said in a low tone, “I was in Milwaukee about four months ago, and one night I attended an open meeting. You were on the speaking platform, and you gave one of the finest A.A. talks I ever heard.” The bartender turned and walked to the end of the bar. For a few minutes, the customer sat there—probably in a state of shock. Then he picked his money off the bar with trembling hands and walked out, all desire for a drink drained out of him. It is estimated that there are about 8,000 saloons in Chicago, employing some 25,000 bartenders. This man had entered the one saloon in 8,000 where he would encounter the one man in 25,000 who knew that he was a member of A.A. and didn’t belong there. Chicago, Illinois
Alcoholics Anonymous (Came to Believe)
Wondering if Westcliff was going to reprimand the boys for allowing her and Daisy to play, Lillian said uneasily, “Arthur and the others—it wasn’t their fault—I made them let us into the game—” “I don’t doubt it,” the earl said over her shoulder. “You probably gave them no chance to refuse.” “You’re not going to punish them?” “For playing rounders on their off-time? Hardly.” Removing his coat, Westcliff tossed it to the ground. He turned to the catcher, who was hovering nearby, and said, “Jim, be a good lad and help field a few balls.” “Yes, milord!” The boy ran in a flash to the empty space on the west side of the green beyond the sanctuary posts. “What are you doing?” Lillian asked as Westcliff stood behind her. “I’m correcting your swing,” came his even reply. “Lift the bat, Miss Bowman.” She turned to look at him skeptically, and he smiled, his eyes gleaming with challenge. “This should be interesting,” Lillian muttered. Taking up a batter’s stance, she glanced across the field at Daisy, whose face was flushed and eyes over-bright in the effort to suppress a burst of laughter. “My swing is perfectly fine,” Lillian grumbled, uncomfortably aware of the earl’s body just behind hers. Her eyes widened as she felt his hands slide to her elbows, pushing them into a more compact position. As his husky murmur brushed her ears, her excited nerves seemed to catch fire, and she felt a flush spreading over her face and neck, as well as other body parts that, as far as she knew, there were no names for. “Spread your feet wider,” Westcliff said, “and distribute your weight evenly. Good. Now bring your hands closer to your body. Since the bat is a few inches too long for you, you’ll have to choke up on it—” “I like holding it at the base.” “It’s too long for you,” he insisted, “which is why you pull your swing just before you hit the ball—” “I like a long bat,” Lillian argued, even as he adjusted her hands on the willow handle. “The longer the better, as a matter of fact.” A distant snicker from one of the stable boys caught her attention, and she glanced at him suspiciously before turning to face Westcliff. His face was expressionless, but there was a glitter of laughter in his eyes. “Why is that amusing?” she asked. “I have no idea,” Westcliff said blandly, and turned her toward the pitcher again.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
I stand so abruptly that Leiza startles. “If Violet wants to find me, I’ll be outside chopping wood,” I tell her, causing her to choke back a sound that suspiciously resembles a smothered laugh. When I eye her, she’s the picture of seriousness, nodding once again. “Of course, Alpha,” she says so graciously. Tearing my shirt over my head, I toss it to the ground. Leiza’s phone rings, and she puts it aside. “A vampire is calling me. That can’t be good,” she says as she meets my eyes, almost asking for permission to answer Shera’s call. “They’re trying to reach me. Not you. They can kiss my ass. I need a minute to deal with this.” “I thought you were tired and going to get some sleep,” Leiza states, and then swallows down whatever else is on the tip of her tongue. “I’m no longer tired,” I point out dryly. Another nod from Leiza, and I walk out shirtless to go chop some fucking wood for the fireplace Violet rarely ever uses. There’s an axe wedged into one of the piles of wood near the chopping block, making this simpler than expected, so I get to work. Before I can even make one small pile, Damien is wheeling into the driveway, barely putting the brake on, before he hops out. His eyes narrow on me, and then his brow furrows. It’s when his lips start to twitch that I bristle, feeling a little too transparent. “Didn’t realize you’d gotten this pathetic, mongrel,” he drawls. “And here I thought our calls were being ignored so you could have Violet to yourself.” “I’m holding an axe,” I warn him. “Not a Van Helsing axe,” he volleys with a growing grin. The side door swings open for Violet as she walks out, eyeing me first from my spot near the sidewalk by the street, and then Damien next. “What’re you doing shirtless?” she asks, looking back over at me. “It’s like ten degrees out here. People are going to think that’s weird.” Damien restrains a smile. “You were almost out of wood,” I tell her, gesturing to the…fucking full wood chamber on the side of her house. I couldn’t squeeze another piece in there if I wanted to. Violet glances from it, to me, to Damien, and then to the wood again. “Tiara keeps it filled, and we hardly use it, since the heat is on…” She lets her words trail off, clearly confused. Damien outright grins. “Just what are you doing, exactly?” Damien muses. Tossing the axe to the ground, I glare over at him. “Why are you here?
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
You aren’t worried about tomorrow, are you?” “What do you think?” He propped himself up on his elbows and studied my face. “You told me last spring it was the easiest thing in the whole wide world. You could hardly wait to jump. Why, even when you got sick you worried you’d die without having a chance to do it.” “I must have been a raving lunatic,” I muttered. Theo scowled, but the sound of a Model T chugging up the driveway stopped him from saying more. Its headlamps lit the trees and washed across the house. “It’s John again,” Theo said. “Papa will start charging him room and board soon.” Hidden in the shadows, we watched John jump out of the car and run up the porch steps. Hannah met him at the door. From inside the house, their laughter floated toward us as silvery as moonlight, cutting into my heart like a knife. “Hannah has a beau.” Theo sounded as if he were trying out a new word, testing it for rightness. He giggled. “Do you think she lets him kiss her?” I spat in the grass, a trick I’d learned from Edward. “Don’t be silly.” “What’s silly about smooching? When I’m old enough, I plan to kiss Marie Jenkins till our lips melt.” Making loud smacking sounds with his mouth, Theo demonstrated. Pushing him away, I wrestled him to the ground and started tickling him. As he pleaded for mercy, we heard the screen door open. Thinking Mama was about to call us inside, we broke apart and lay still. It was Hannah and John. “They’re sitting in the swing,” Theo whispered. “Come on, let’s spy on them. I bet a million zillion dollars they start spooning.” Stuffing his jar of fireflies into his shirt, Theo dropped to his knees and crawled across the lawn toward the house. I followed him, sure he was wrong. Hannah wasn’t old enough for kissing. Or silly enough. We reached the bushes beside the porch without being seen. Crouched in the dirt, we were so close I could have reached up and grabbed Hannah’s ankle. To keep from giggling, Theo pressed his hands over his mouth. Sick with jealousy, I watched John put his arm around Hannah and draw her close. As his lips met hers, I felt Theo jab my side. I teetered and lost my balance. The bushes swayed, the leaves rustled, a twig snapped under my feet. “Be quiet,” Theo hissed in my ear. “Do you want to get us killed?” We backed out of the bushes, hoping to escape, but it was too late. Leaving John in the swing, Hannah strode down the porch steps, grabbed us each by an ear, and shook us like rats. “Can’t a body have a second of privacy?
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
I told you before--you mustn’t let Edward scare you. He’s a bully and a coward. What would Frank Merriwell do if he were you?” Frank Merriwell--I was thoroughly sick of hearing that name. “I don’t care what some dumb guy in a story would do. I’m not going to fight Edward.” “Fight me then.” Hannah raised her fists and danced around on her bare feet, bouncing, ducking, and swinging at the air around my head. “Pretend I’m Edward!” I ducked a punch, and she swung again. “Put up your dukes,” she ordered, “defend yourself, sir.” This time Hannah clipped my chin hard enough to knock me down. Her shirtwaist was completely untucked, her face was smudged, her hair was tumbling down her back and hanging in her eyes. “On your feet, sir,” she shouted. “Let’s see your fighting spirit!” Hannah was making so much noise she didn’t hear John Larkin push aside the branches and enter the grove. When he saw her take another swing at me, he started laughing. Hannah whirled around, her face scarlet, and stared at John. “What do you mean by sneaking up on us like a common Peeping Tom?” “With the noise you’ve been making, you wouldn’t have noticed a herd of rampaging elephants.” John was still laughing, but Hannah was furious. Putting her fists on her hips, she scowled at him. “Well, now you know the truth about me. I’m no lady and I never claimed to be one. I suppose you’ll start taking Amelia Carter for rides in your precious tin lizzie and treating her to sodas at your father’s drugstore. I’m sure she’d never brawl with her brothers.” Theo and I looked at each other. We were both hoping Hannah would make John leave. Before he came along and ruined everything, we’d been having fun. To my disappointment, John didn’t seem to realize he was unwanted. Leaning against a tree, he watched Hannah run her hands through her hair. “I don’t know what you’re so fired up about,” he said. “Why should I want to take Amelia anywhere? I’ve never met a more boring girl. As for her brothers--a little brawling wouldn’t hurt them. Or Amelia either.” Hannah turned away, her face flushed, and John winked at me. “Your sister’s first rate,” he said, “but I wager I know a sight more about boxing than she does. Why not let me show you a thing or two?” Happy again, Hannah smiled at John. “What a grand idea! But go slow, Andrew’s still weak.” When John took off his jacket, I edged closer to Hannah. “I like your lessons,” I said to her, scowling at John. He was rolling up his sleeves, probably to show off his muscles. Next to him, I was nothing but a skinny little baby. He’d knock me flat and everyone would laugh at me.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
Inside McClintic Sphere was swinging his ass off. His skin was hard, as if it were part of the skull: every vein and whisker on that head stood out sharp and clear under the green baby spot: you could see the twin lines running down from either side of his lower lip, etched in by the force of his embouchure, looking like extensions of his mustache. He blew a hand-carved ivory alto saxophone with a 4 ½ reed and the sound was like nothing any of them had heard before. The usual divisions prevailed: collegians did not dig, and left after an average of 1 ½ sets. Personnel from other groups, either with a night off or taking a long break from somewhere crosstown or uptown, listened hard, trying to dig. 'I am still thinking,’ they would say if you asked. People at the bar all looked as if they did dig in the sense of understand, approve of, empathize with: but this was probably only because people who prefer to stand at the bar have, universally, an inscrutable look… …The group on the stand had no piano: it was bass, drums, McClintic and a boy he had found in the Ozarks who blew a natural horn in F. The drummer was a group man who avoided pyrotechnics, which may have irritated the college crowd. The bass was small and evil-looking and his eyes were yellow with pinpoints in the center. He talked to his instrument. It was taller than he was and didn’t seem to be listening. Horn and alto together favored sixths and minor fourths and when this happened it was like a knife fight or tug of war: the sound was consonant but as if cross-purposes were in the air. The solos of McClintic Sphere were something else. There were people around, mostly those who wrote for Downbeat magazine or the liners of LP records, who seemed to feel he played disregarding chord changes completely. They talked a great deal about soul and the anti-intellectual and the rising rhythms of African nationalism. It was a new conception, they said, and some of them said: Bird Lives. Since the soul of Charlie Parker had dissolved away into a hostile March wind nearly a year before, a great deal of nonsense had been spoken and written about him. Much more was to come, some is still being written today. He was the greatest alto on the postwar scene and when he left it some curious negative will–a reluctance and refusal to believe in the final, cold fact–possessed the lunatic fringe to scrawl in every subway station, on sidewalks, in pissoirs, the denial: Bird Lives. So that among the people in the V-Note that night were, at a conservative estimate, a dreamy 10 per cent who had not got the word, and saw in McClintic Sphere a kind of reincarnation.
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
And as I watched the dancers moving unheeded around him, an idea formed in my mind, a reckless, useless, stupid idea, but one that promised such fun I could almost hear Bran’s laughter. It’s been too long since I heard him laugh, I realized grimly. I was gloriously angry at the whole world--at the commander sitting there at his ease, at his numerous soldiery all looking for my dockside-rat self, at the Marquis for scorning us and our ideals, at the ordinary people for not caring that Bran had worn himself tired and grim on their behalf when he should have been laughing and moving right along with all these dancers. The dancers had been a brightly colored mass, but now I watched individuals. One in particular drew my eye: a big bull of a man, obviously half-drunk. His partner could hardly stop laughing when he lurched and staggered as the others twirled and stamped. I watched the figures of the dance, learning the pattern. The observers seemed to know it well, for when the stomping and clapping occurred, those who wished to cross the room threaded their way among the dancers; then when the couples did hands-high, the floor cleared for the resulting whirls and partner trades. The drunk man was starting to look tired. He’d want to stop soon, I knew. I’d have to move now, or not at all. My heart clumped in counterpoint to the music as I slipped through the crowd around the perimeter of the room and then, just as the clap-stamp-clap-stamp commenced, eased my way out among the dancers, ducking a tray here and a swinging arm there. My basket handle was over my elbow, so both hands were free. When the horns signaled the next hands-high, I remembered my lessons from Khesot on Using Your Opponent’s Weight Against Him. Steadying my hand against the drunken man’s shoulder, I hooked my good foot around his ankle and yanked, pushing his shoulder at the same time. He spun, bellowing, his fingers clutching at air, and fell--right across the commander’s table. His partner shrieked, waving her arms. I dodged between her and Debegri, who had leaped up, cursing, as he mopped at the wine splashed down his front. With one hand I nipped a chicken pie and with the other a cup of mulled dessert wine, just before the table crashed over on its side, flinging the food everywhere. People screamed and shouted, pushing and shoving to get away from the mess. I ducked between two dancers and backed, laughing breathlessly, toward the door. The drunken man was yelling, “Where is she? Where is she? Where’s the little snipe that tripped me?” “Calm yourself, sir,” Debegri grated, his voice harsh and somehow familiar. “Guards! Right this table…” Trying to smother my laughter, I turned around on the doorstep and saw another chance. A single warrior stood holding the reins of the beautiful white horse. As I watched, the soldier stifled a yawn and looked over at the door, to where the two guards were busy with Debegri’s table. Flinging the mulled wine squarely into her face, I jumped up across the horse’s back, and as it bucked and sidled, I jammed my heels in its ribs and it leaped forward. The reins went flying. I grabbed at them with my free hand and thrust the meat pie into my mouth with the other. The warrior sprang to stop me but the horse was too fast. I dashed my basket against the warrior’s head and slapped the reins on the horse’s white neck. A spear whizzed right past my shoulder, and a few moments later something sharp pricked my neck. Ducking as low as I could, I clung desperately to the reins. The horse stretched its legs into a gallop, and then a canter. Behind I heard the blare of a summons horn. The chase was on!
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The essence of Roosevelt’s leadership, I soon became convinced, lay in his enterprising use of the “bully pulpit,” a phrase he himself coined to describe the national platform the presidency provides to shape public sentiment and mobilize action. Early in Roosevelt’s tenure, Lyman Abbott, editor of The Outlook, joined a small group of friends in the president’s library to offer advice and criticism on a draft of his upcoming message to Congress. “He had just finished a paragraph of a distinctly ethical character,” Abbott recalled, “when he suddenly stopped, swung round in his swivel chair, and said, ‘I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit.’ ” From this bully pulpit, Roosevelt would focus the charge of a national movement to apply an ethical framework, through government action, to the untrammeled growth of modern America. Roosevelt understood from the outset that this task hinged upon the need to develop powerfully reciprocal relationships with members of the national press. He called them by their first names, invited them to meals, took questions during his midday shave, welcomed their company at day’s end while he signed correspondence, and designated, for the first time, a special room for them in the West Wing. He brought them aboard his private railroad car during his regular swings around the country. At every village station, he reached the hearts of the gathered crowds with homespun language, aphorisms, and direct moral appeals. Accompanying reporters then extended the reach of Roosevelt’s words in national publications. Such extraordinary rapport with the press did not stem from calculation alone. Long before and after he was president, Roosevelt was an author and historian. From an early age, he read as he breathed. He knew and revered writers, and his relationship with journalists was authentically collegial. In a sense, he was one of them. While exploring Roosevelt’s relationship with the press, I was especially drawn to the remarkably rich connections he developed with a team of journalists—including Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—all working at McClure’s magazine, the most influential contemporary progressive publication. The restless enthusiasm and manic energy of their publisher and editor, S. S. McClure, infused the magazine with “a spark of genius,” even as he suffered from periodic nervous breakdowns. “The story is the thing,” Sam McClure responded when asked to account for the methodology behind his publication. He wanted his writers to begin their research without preconceived notions, to carry their readers through their own process of discovery. As they educated themselves about the social and economic inequities rampant in the wake of teeming industrialization, so they educated the entire country. Together, these investigative journalists, who would later appropriate Roosevelt’s derogatory term “muckraker” as “a badge of honor,” produced a series of exposés that uncovered the invisible web of corruption linking politics to business. McClure’s formula—giving his writers the time and resources they needed to produce extended, intensively researched articles—was soon adopted by rival magazines, creating what many considered a golden age of journalism. Collectively, this generation of gifted writers ushered in a new mode of investigative reporting that provided the necessary conditions to make a genuine bully pulpit of the American presidency. “It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the progressive mind was characteristically a journalistic mind,” the historian Richard Hofstadter observed, “and that its characteristic contribution was that of the socially responsible reporter-reformer.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism)
They'd followed him up and had seen him open the door of a room not far from the head of the stairs. He hadn't so much as glanced their way but had gone in and shut the door. She'd walked on with Martha, past that door, down the corridor and around a corner to their chamber. Drawing in a tight-faintly excited-breath, she set out, quietly creeping back to the corner, her evening slippers allowing her to tiptoe along with barely a sound. Nearing the corner, she paused and glanced back along the corridor. Still empty. Reassured, she started to turn, intending to peek around the corner- A hard body swung around the corner and plowed into her. She stumbled back. Hard hands grabbed her, holding her upright. Her heart leapt to her throat. She looked up,saw only darkness. She opened her mouth- A palm slapped over her lips. A steely arm locked around her-locked her against a large, adamantine male body; she couldn't even squirm. Her senses scrambled. Strength, male heat, muscled hardness engulfed her. Then a virulent curse singed her ears. And she realized who'd captured her. Panic and sheer fright had tensed her every muscle; relief washed both away and she felt limp. The temptation to sag in his arms, to sink gratefully against him, was so nearly overwhelming that it shocked her into tensing again. He lowered his head so he could look into her face. Through clenched teeth, he hissed, "What the hell are you doing?" His tone very effectively dragged her wits to the fore. He hadn't removed his hand from her lips. She nipped it. With a muted oath, he pulled the hand away. She moistened her lips and angrily whispered back, "Coming to see you, of course. What are you doing here?" "Coming to fetch you-of course." "You ridiculous man." Her hands had come to rest on his chest. She snatched them back, waved them. "I'm hardly likely to come to grief over the space of a few yards!" Even to her ears they sounded like squabbling children. He didn't reply. Through the dark, he looked at her. She couldn't see his eyes, but his gaze was so intent, so intense that she could feel... her heart started thudding, beating heavier, deeper. Her senses expanded, alert in a wholly unfamiliar way. he looked at her...looked at her. Primitive instinct riffled the delicate hairs at her nape. Abruptly he raised his head, straightened, stepped back. "Come on." Grabbing her elbow, he bundled her unceremoniously around the corner and on up the corridor before him. Her temper-always close to the surface when he was near-started to simmer. If they hadn't needed to be quiet, she would have told him what she thought of such cavalier treatment. Breckenridge halted her outside the door to his bedchamber; he would have preferred any other meeting place, but there was no safer place, and regardless of all and everything else, he needed to keep her safe. Reaching around her, he raised the latch and set the door swinging. "In here." He'd left the lamp burning low. As he followed her in, then reached back and shut the door, he took in what she was wearing. He bit back another curse. She glanced around, but there was nowhere to sit but on the bed. Quickly he strode past her, stripped off the coverlet, then autocratically pointed at the sheet. "Sit there." With a narrow-eyed glare, she did, with the haughty grace of a reigning monarch. Immediately she'd sat, he flicked out the coverlet and swathed her in it. She cast him a faintly puzzled glance but obligingly held the enveloping drape close about her. He said nothing; if she wanted to think he was concerned about her catching a chill, so be it. At least the coverlet was long enough to screen her distracting angles and calves. Which really was ridiculous. Considering how many naked women he'd seen in his life, why the sight of her stockinged ankles and calves should so affect him was beyond his ability to explain.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
[...] Kevin had grown up playing left-handed. Seeing him take on Andrew right-handed was ballsy enough, seeing him actually score was surreal. Kevin kicked them off the court [...], but instead of following [...] he stayed behind with Andrew to keep practicing. Neil watched them over his shoulder. "I saw him first," Nicky said. "I thought you had Erik," Neil said. "I do, but Kevin's on the List," Nicky said. When Neil frowned, Nicky explained. "It's a list of celebrities we're allowed to have affairs with. Kevin is number three." Neil pretended to understand and changed the topic. "How does anyone lose against the Foxes with Andrew in your goal?" "He's good, right? [...] Coach bribed Andrew into saving our collective asses with some really nice booze." "Bribed?" Neil echoed. "Andrew's good," Nicky said again, "but it doesn't really matter to him if we win or lose. You want him to care, you gotta give him incentive." "He can't play like that and not care." "Now you sound like Kevin. You'll find out the hard way, same as Kevin did. Kevin gave Andrew a lot of grief this spring [...]. Up until then they were fighting like cats and dogs. Now look at them. They're practically trading friendship bracelets and I couldn't fit a crowbar between them if it'd save my life." "But why?" Neil asked. "Andrew hates Kevin's obsession with Exy." "The day they start making sense to you, let me know," Nicky said [...]. "I gave up trying to sort it all out weeks ago. [...] But as long as I'm doling out advice? Stop staring at Kevin so much. You're making me fear for your life over here." "What do you mean?" "Andrew is scary territorial of him. He punched me the first time I said I'd like to get Kevin too wasted to be straight." Nicky pointed at his face, presumably where Andrew had decked him. "So yeah, I'm going to crush on safer targets until Andrew gets bored of him. That means you, since Matt's taken and I don't hate myself enough to try Seth. Congrats." "Can you take the creepy down a level?" Aaron asked. "What?" Nikcy asked. "He said he doesn't swing, so obviously he needs a push." "I don't need a push," Neil said. "I'm fine on my own." "Seriously, how are you not bored of your hand by now?" "I'm done with this conversation," Neil said. "This and every future variation of it [...]." The stadium door slammed open as Andrew showed up at last. [...] "Kevin wants to know what's taking you so long. Did you get lost?" "Nicky's scheming to rape Neil," Aaron said. "There are a couple flaws in his plan he needs to work out first, but he'll get there sooner or later." [...] "Wow, Nicky," Andrew said. "You start early." "Can you really blame me?" Nicky glanced back at Neil as he said it. He only took his eyes off Andrew for a second, but that was long enough for Andrew to lunge at him. Andrew caught Nicky's jersey in one hand and threw him hard up against the wall. [...] "Hey, Nicky," Andrew said in stage-whisper German. "Don't touch him, you understand?" "You know I'd never hurt him. If he says yes-" "I said no." "Jesus, you're greedy," Nicky said. "You already have Kevin. Why does it-" He went silent, but it took Neil a moment to realize why. Andrew had a short knife pressed to Nicky's Jersey. [...] Neil was no stranger to violence. He'd heard every threat in the book, but never from a man who smiled as bright as Andrew did. Apathy, anger, madness, boredom: these motivators Neil knew and understood. But Andrew was grinning like he didn't have a knife point where it'd sleep perfectly between Nicky's ribs, and it wasn't because he was joking. Neil knew Andrew meant it. [...] "Hey, are we playing or what?" Neil asked. "Kevin's waiting." [...] Andrew let go of Nicky and spun away. [...] Nicky looked shaken as he stared after the twins, but when he realized Neil was watching him he rallied with a smile Neil didn't believe at all. "On second thought, you're not my type after all [...].
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Blood glucose instability is a huge problem that affects the moods of millions of people. The brain accounts for only about 2 percent of body weight, but requires 25 percent of all blood pumped by the heart (up to 50 percent in kids). Therefore, low blood sugar hits the brain hard, causing depression, anxiety, and lassitude. If you often become uncomfortably hungry, you’ve got a serious problem and should solve it. Eat high-protein, nutrient-dense meals, and snack enough to keep your blood sugar up, but not with insulin-stimulating sweets or starches. Remember that hunger kills brain cells, just like getting drunk. Be careful of caffeine, which causes blood sugar swings, and never crash diet. Food sensitivities are common reactions that are not classic food allergies, so most conventional allergists underestimate the damage they do. They play a major role in mood disruption, much more frequently than most people realize. They cause chemical reactions in the body that destabilize blood sugar and wreak havoc upon hormonal and neurotransmitter balance. This can trigger depression, anxiety, impaired concentration, insomnia, and hyperactivity. The most common sensitivities, unfortunately, are to the foods people most often overconsume: wheat, milk, eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts. The average American gets about 75 percent of her calories from just 10 favorite foodstuffs, and this narrow range of eating disrupts the digestive process and causes abnormal reactions. If a particular food doesn’t agree with you and commonly causes heartburn, gas, bloating, water weight gain, a craving for more, or a burst of nervous energy, you’re probably reactive to it. There are several good books on the subject, and there are many labs that test for sensitivities. Ask a chiropractor, naturopath, or doctor of integrative medicine about them. Don’t expect much help from a conventional allergist. Exercise and Mood Dozens of studies indicate that exercise is often as effective for depression as medication, partly because it increases production of stimulating hormones, such as norepinephrine, and also because it increases oxygen flow to the brain. Exercise can, in addition, help relieve and prevent anxiety, creating a so-called tranquilizer effect that persists for about 4 hours after exercising. Exercise also decreases the biological stress response, which dampens the automatic fear reaction. It is also uniquely effective at causing secretion of Nerve Growth Factor, one of the limited number of substances that cause brain cells to grow. Another benefit of exercise is that it increases endorphin output by about 500 percent and decreases the incidence of major and minor illnesses. For mood, the ideal amount is 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. Studies show that exercising less than 30 minutes or more than 1 hour decreases mood benefits.
Dan Baker (What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better)
It was hard to tell how lasting these trends would be. I told myself it was the nature of democracies—including America’s—to swing between periods of progressive change and conservative retrenchment.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Be patient and selective, saying no to almost everything. Exploit the market’s bipolar mood swings. Buy stocks at a big discount to their underlying value. Stay within your circle of competence. Avoid anything too hard. Make a small number of mispriced bets with minimal downside and significant upside.
William P. Green (Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World's Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life)
But what will you put in its place?’ A familiar question to any socialist, and on the face of it a formidable poser as well. It is extremely hard in the first instance to think of replacements for unemployment, racialism, war, poverty, exploitation, and oligarchy. But we’ll probably think of something.” [“Last Swing of the Crane,” New Statesman, 10/06/72]
Windsor Mann (The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism -- The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens)
There is a thing that sometimes happens in rowing that is hard to achieve and hard to define. Many crews, even winning crews, never really find it. Others find it but can’t sustain it. It’s called “swing.” It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others. It’s not just that the oars enter and leave the water at precisely the same instant. Sixteen arms must begin to pull, sixteen knees must begin to fold and unfold, eight bodies must begin to slide forward and backward, eight backs must bend and straighten all at once. Each minute action—each subtle turning of wrists—must be mirrored exactly by each oarsman, from one end of the boat to the other. Only then will the boat continue to run, unchecked, fluidly and gracefully between pulls of the oars. Only then will it feel as if the boat is a part of each of them, moving as if on its own. Only then does pain entirely give way to exultation. Rowing then becomes a kind of perfect language. Poetry, that’s what a good swing feels like.
Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
Men have no shame when they come in here. They do not even wash the peen half the time. They swing it around, they play, they laugh when they get hard while I try to measure—it is annoying, dealing with the peen. And the big peens?” He made an exasperated sound. “One of the dragons had a peen so big, I had to make extra room in the clothes. I had to make them extra durable. And he got hard all the time. It nearly poked me in the eye when I measured his legs.
K.F. Breene (A Throne of Ruin (Deliciously Dark Fairytales, #2))
Today’s adolescents, practiced in therapy, have assimilated its vocabulary. They can tell you what sorts of social situations they find emotionally challenging and the precise contours of the psychological problem that’s to blame—“social anxiety,” “testing anxiety,” “panic attack,” and so forth. Such diagnoses have a way of reifying the problems they describe. Therapy is predicated on the conceit that our thoughts and feelings must always be monitored. That any swing to one side is cause for alarm, and that even minor disturbances ought to be listened for and deciphered, like faint signals from a distant planet. Almost by definition and certainly in practice, therapists lead adolescents deeper into the forests of their minds. Is it any wonder, then, that it’s so hard for them to find a way out?
Abigail Shrier (Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters)
I’m here to claim you.” The last thing he’d expected was for her to hurl a teaspoon at his forehead. Shit, that actually hurt. “Claim me? Now there’s a fucking joke. I’d rather French kiss a goddamn barracuda than mate with you!” Nick cursed in surprise as Shaya lifted one of the wooden breakfast stools and launched it at him. He barely ducked in time to dodge it. When he stood tall again, it was to see another stool coming at him. He caught that one, using it as a shield against the next stool. Then she was racing out of the room. Before she could escape from the house, Nick dashed after her. But she didn’t open the front door. She reached behind the rack of coats in the hallway, pulled out a baseball bat, turned sharply, and swung it at his head. Motherfucker. He jumped backward, barely avoiding it. “Dammit, Shay!” Where had his sweet mate gone? Having a bad temper was one thing, but the female in front of him was a merciless psycho. Proving that, she swung the bat again—this time at his abdomen. Although he jerked away, he only managed to dull the impact of her swing. It still connected hard with his abdomen, making him instinctively bend over as the breath whooshed out of him. That was when the bat came flying at his head again.
Suzanne Wright (Carnal Secrets (The Phoenix Pack, #3))
She sits with shoulders slumped, staring at the wall, waiting for an answer, waiting to feel some joy. She's holding her breath without knowing it, listening to her body like a pregnant woman, listening, bending down deep into herself. But nothing stirs, everything is silent and empty like a forest when no birds are singing. She tries harder, this twenty-eight-year-old woman, to remember what it is to be happy, and with alarm she realizes that she no longer knows, that it's like a foreign language she learned in childhood but has now forgotten, remembering only that she knew it once. When was the last time I was happy? She thinks hard, and two little lines are etched in her bowed forehead. Gradually it comes to her: an image as though from a dim mirror, a thin-legged blond girl, her schoolbag swinging above her short cotton skirt. A dozen other girls are swirling about her: it's a game of rounders in a park in suburban Vienna. A surge of laughter, a bright trill of high spirits following the ball into the air, now she remembers how light, how free that laughter felt, it was never far away, it tickled under her skin, it swirled through her blood; one shake and it would spill out over her lips, it was so free, almost too free: on the school bench you had to hug yourself and bite your lip to keep from laughing at some funny remark or silliness in French class. Any little thing would set off waves of that effervescent girlish laughter. A teacher who stammered, a funny face in the mirror, a cat chasing its tail, a look from an officer on the street, any little thing, any tiny, senseless bit of nonsense, you were so full of laughter that anything could bring it out. It was always there and ready to erupt, that free, tomboyish laughter, and even when she was asleep, its high-spirited arabesque was traced on her young mouth.
Stefan Zweig (The Post-Office Girl)
To get a better grasp of the problem, we have to ask: is the leader introducing the changes relying on his own resources, or does he depend on other people’s support; that is, does he have to beg help to achieve his goals, or can he impose them? If he’s begging help, he’s bound to fail and will get nowhere. But if he’s got his own resources and can impose his plans, then it’s unlikely he’ll be running serious risks. This is why the visionary who has armed force on his side has always won through, while unarmed even your visionary is always a loser. Because on top of everything else, we must remember that the general public’s mood will swing. It’s easy to convince people of something, but hard to keep them convinced. So when they stop believing in you, you must be in a position to force them to believe.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
3 EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT HOME BLOW DRY THE BLOW-DRYING ADVISOR :- Remember those late mornings? When do you have to rush your way for getting everything done? Blow drying is a common and very widely used technique to speed dry the hair instantly. Blow drying comes with pros as well as cons. While it quickly dries your hair, it even damages your hair with its heat. A brush with a circulating venting scheme is ideal while you use a blow dryer as it absorbs the heat and prevents it from reaching and affecting the roots. From choosing the right applicators to the swinging motion, there is a lot to learn and master to get the maximum benefits with minimum damage. Blow drying can be against your hair care regime as excessive use of it wears your hair strands off. Avoid using the dryer when your hair is dry as it turns your hair dry, dull, and might lead to intense breakage and hair fall. When you do the process in the wrong way, it leads to many chronic difficulties which all may be very hard to repair. This blog is all about giving you the basic ideas of blow-drying which will not only make you master the skill but also prevent you from getting dry, rough hair.Easy Steps to a Perfect Home Blow Dry Blow drying might seem easy but isn't. You need to take care of the smallest of things and do it right. 3 EASY STEPS FOR A PERFECT BLOW-DRY • Selection of the right tools is important since there are brushes or other tools available especially for blow-drying purposes. Round brushes with the correct circulating venting scheme and ergonomic body are the ideal ones as they prevent damage caused by heat. • The correct motion is important as well since the heat application depends on the movement of your hand. Use the universally used pull and roll technic to dry your hair • Less heat application should be kept in mind as too much heat can damage and burn your scalp forever. Use a scalp brush to turn and flip those locks easily. 3 Easy Steps to a Perfect Home Blow Dry ENCOUNTER THE BEST BLOW DRYING:- NuWay's Double C shape brush is the only brush for all your styling needs. This being the best brush for hair, gives you all the advantages like hydration, lustrousness, etc. It's a patented brush that glides over the scalp smoothly and gives absolute volume. Its circulating venting scheme helps in heat absorption in cases such as blow-drying, making it completely safe for all types of hair-dryers. It perfectly detangles your hair, whether they are dry or wet. When you choose this comb, you choose the absolute care and treatment for your hair which keeps them all set and smooth throughout the day and night. So don't be late to add one of these spectacular brushes to your vanity.
Your kettlebell exercises strengthen your bones and fight osteoporosis. • Kettlebell swings are great for the back and can help overcome back pain and immobility. • Kettlebell swings are the fastest exercise. You can go from sitting to full exertion in seconds and be all done in little over a minute. • With your daily workouts, you will be fierce. And why not? You are slimmer, harder, taller, smarter, fitter, and your booty be bad! The twelve minutes are not done at once. As a matter of fact, eight sessions, each 90 seconds long may be optimal for exertion and spacing for maximizing metabolic risk protection.  Eight sessions has you exercising frequently throughout the day, in quick, easy sessions. Well, quick at least. Your twelve minutes is roughly the cardiovascular equivalent of running an eight minute mile pace for a mile and a half in 12 minutes. A moderate daily aerobic workout is a key component of nearly any health regimen.  It is very good for your heart health to raise your heart rate and respiration with cardiovascular exercise on a daily basis. In many ways, the first minute and a half of running a long distance is the most difficult part of a run, as the body shifts from rest to intense exercise. In this same way, the 90 second kettlebell swings are quite intense, as your body adjusts from no-load to heavy exertion immediately. Kettlebell swings represent a type of interval training, a short burst of intense exercise. Twelve minutes a day of kettlebell swings build muscle.  Muscles, generally, are a good thing, helping us be athletic, protecting us from injury, burning lots of calories and basically looking good. Twelve minutes per day is a very short time to build muscle, compared say, to a construction worker doing demanding physical labor all day. The construction worker will be well muscled, but not necessarily better than yourself, because you are harnessing the weight training effect with your kettlebell swings. You can build significant muscle size and strength with just these few minutes each day, while not having to spend the entire day in hard labor.
Don Fitch (Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings: Just 12 Minutes a Day to Lose Weight, Prevent Sitting Disease, Hone Your Body and Tone Your Booty!)
Let the Outsider accept without further hesitation: I am different from other men because I have been destined to something greater; let him see himself in the role of predestined poet, predestined prophet or world-betterer, and a half of the Outsider's problems have been solved. What he is saying is, in effect, this: In most men, the instinct of brotherhood with other men is stronger-the herd instinct; in me, a sense of brotherhood with something other than man is strongest, and demands priority. When the Outsider comes to look at other men closely and sympathetically, the hard and fast distinctions break down; he cannot say: I am a poet and they are not, for he soon comes to recognize that no one is entirely a business-man, just as no poet is entirely a poet. He can only say: the sense of purpose that makes me a poet is stronger than theirs. His needle swings to magnetic pole without hesitation; theirs wavers around all the points of the compass and only points north when they come particularly close to the pole, when under the influence of drink or patriotism or sentimentality.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
It was summer, so the sun appeared in the bottom left-hand corner of the big window at quarter past six. Ish. It was hard to tell exactly until the sun rose just a little bit more, enough to send his beams through the holes carefully bored through a piece of wood, above which the hours were marked off in beautifully painted flourishes. This simple timepiece hung from the ceiling off a stick hammered sturdily in, because a string would have let it spin and therefore fail its task of tracking the sun. The wind chimes, however, assembled from more bits of wood, and pieces of metal, and shaped and dried bits of pottery, were free to swing and tinkle as they pleased. These were surrounded by celestial bric-a-brac that also dangled from the ceiling and spun with abandon when the breeze found them: paper-mâché stars, comets of hoarded glass shards and mirror, a very carefully re-created (and golden) replica of the constellation Orion, a quilted and embroidered cloth model of the sun, and several paintings on rectangular panels hung such that they faced straight down. So that the viewer, in bed, might look up at them and pretend they were windows or friends, depending on whether the subject was landscapes or faces.
Liz Braswell (What Once Was Mine)
The only way to remedy hard luck is with hard work. The curveballs that life throws you are only going to be an issue if you haven’t been practicing your swing.
Humble the Poet (Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life)
We fight for mass especially with a reusable upper stage, which nobody has ever succeeded in,” he said. “Just FYI. It’s not like other rocket scientists were huge idiots who wanted to throw their rockets away all the time. It’s fucking hard to make something like this. One of the hardest engineering problems known to man is making a reusable orbital rocket. Nobody has succeeded. For a good reason. Our gravity is a bit heavy. On Mars this would be no problem. Moon, piece of cake. On Earth, fucking hard. Just barely possible. It’s stupidly difficult to have a fully reusable orbital system. It would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of humanity. That’s why it’s hard. Why does this hurt my brain? It’s because of that. Really, we’re just a bunch of monkeys. How did we even get this far? It beats me. We were swinging through the trees, eating bananas not long ago.
Eric Berger (Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX)
Layout Timers A drill that simulates the feel of a skill, or the set for a skill without the risk of completing the skill. Lines Straight, perfect lines of the body. Overshoot, also known as Bail A transition from the high bar facing the low bar. The gymnast swings up and over the low bar with a half-turn to catch the low bar ending in a handstand. Pike The body bent forward at the waist with the legs kept straight, an L position. Pirouette Used in both gymnastics and dance to refer to a turn around the body's longitudinal axis. It is used to refer to a handstand turning moves on bars. Rips In gymnastics, a rip occurs when a gymnast works so hard on the bars or rings they tear off a flap of skin from their hand. The injury is like a blister that breaks open. Release Leaving the bar to perform a skill before re-grasping it. Relevé This is a dance term that is often used in gymnastics. In a relevé, the gymnast is standing on toes and has straight legs.
Lucia Franco (Balance (Off Balance, #1))
I remember the time on the school bus back before anyone could drive, Jenny bet me a dollar, to put my hand down her jeans to prove she wears thong undies. Saying that I am such a baby, for not knowing, that’s how that all started, she felt like she had to teach me everything. Anyways back then I was still where Mickey Mouse Briefs and did even think about what was underneath. She beat me to feel that she was not a virgin, that she was all open and smooth, unlike me at the time. I didn’t even shave my legs yet. So, I did, I went for it. The rush here was touching a girl inappropriately, with everyone looking, and hoping the driver didn’t see. I’ll never forget Danny Hover looking over the site with Andrea Doeskin smelling, like little perv’s, and Shy saying- ‘Oh my God’- snickering at the fact, from the set accordingly. Yeah, it’s that kind of rush I get, over and over being with them. Just like Jenny got Liv fixed up with Dilco, it’s all about the rush in the end. Jenny can be a hell of a lot of fun, and it’s that fun that keeps me coming back for more, the same way Liv and Maddie do, and other girls keep trying to be like us, it’s all about the craziness. I don’t know why but when I am with them- I want to be so naughty! I remember Marcel smacking my butt, just to be cute, every time he would see me in the hallways of a school. -Yeah, he’s weird, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him as I was- well… doing me. Yet Ray’s photo was looking at me on my nightstand. ~*~ In my bed, I snap the bright light off when I hear my little sis coming down the hall, everyone goes back to being fuzzy, like I’m not looking at my room but only at a blurry photo of my room that was taken with a shaky hand incorrectly and nothing match up with the real thing. My sis went into the bathroom next door to tinkle, so I snapped on my nightlight, and then that light modifies everything, so it looks somewhat ordinary again. If my sis sees my light on from the crack at the bottom of my door, she will come bursting in. I have learned to keep it as dark as I can when I hear her coming run down the hallway. I love her, yet I want my privacy. All at once it comes back to me, like a hangover rush all my blood starts going back up into my head: the party, my sis getting laid, the argument with Ray, falling to Marcel, all the sex, all the drinking, and drugs, it’s all thumping hard in my brain, like my covered button was a few moments ago, on cam. I am still lying here uncovered, with everything still out in the open. ‘Kellie!’ My door swings open, hammering the door handle against my wall, and sis comes bolting across my room, jumping in my bed, pacing over my textbook's notebooks, love notes, and pills of dirty tops and bottoms and discarded jeans, I panic thinking my Victoria’s Secret Heritage Pink nighty way over there on the floor, where I thought it off and left it the night before. Yet it’s not liked my sis has not seen me naked before… but is wired when this happens. Something is not right, something seems very wrong and oggie; something skirts the edges of my memory, but then it is gone as my head pounds and sis is bouncing on my bed on top of me, throwing her arms and legs around my nude torso. Saying- ‘So what are you going to show me today?’ I am thinking to myself- girl you already got it down, doing what you’re doing now, I don’t need to teach you anything. Kellie- she is so hot… (Oh God not in that way, she’s- my sis.) She is like a little furnace with her worth coming from her tiny body. It’s not too long before her nighty rides up, and I can see it all in my face like she wants to be just like me, and then she starts asking her questions.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Dreaming of you Play with Me)
A typical mistake is setting the kettlebell down sloppily, with a rounded back and the weight on the toes, following a hard (and often perfect) set of swings or snatches. Don’t! Mentally stay with the set until the kettlebell is safely parked. Lower the kettlebell in a way you would if you were planning to do another rep. Then let go, and only then relax.
Pavel Tsatsouline (Enter the Kettlebell!: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen)
Twice a week, a hard 12 minutes of the U.S. Department of Energy “Man Maker.” The Man Maker is a painfully simple workout that was devised and implemented at a federal agency’s academy by Green Beret vet Bill Cullen, RKC. Its template is simple: alternate sets of high-rep kettlebell drills—swings in our case—with a few hundred yards of jogging. Do your swings “to a comfortable stop” most of the time and all-out occasionally. Don’t run hard; jogging is a form of active recovery. Senior RKC Mike Mahler prefers the jump rope to jogging, another great option.
Pavel Tsatsouline (Enter the Kettlebell!: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen)
There was once a guy who used to walk Haight Street with a hole in the back of his jeans so that his tail—an actual human tail about five inches long—could swing freely behind him. He hardly got second glances.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
But Echo was still all loud and monster-y in my ear! So I got him off my shoulder, and sat him down on the CD player. Then funniest thing happened. Echo started bobbing up and down in a little circle, and swinging his head side to side. He was dancing! And then something really scary happened! Echo bobbed so hard that his body popped clean off his legs! AAAAHHHH!
Minecrafty Family (Wimpy Steve Book 12: Eyes on the Prize! (An Unofficial Minecraft Diary Book) (Minecraft Diary: Wimpy Steve))
Take a night off: Scheduling leisure time throughout the workweek is just as important as taking vacation—and often easier to swing. When the Boston Consulting Group instituted a predictable time off (PTO) policy that gave each member of a six-person team one weeknight off a week, employees became happier, more relaxed, and less likely to quit. Team members also learned to be more mindful of one another’s well-being. “Even if we were working hard,” noted one consultant, “we were still looking out for each other to make sure that people were not getting burned out.
Liz Fosslien (No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work)
WORKOUT #1 1. Double arm swing to warm up. –x20 2. Military press (strict). –x10 3. Clean and push press. –x10 4. Cleans. –x10 5. One arm side press. –x5 (each side) 6. Overhead one arm squats. –x10 7. Lunges. –x20 8. Sumo deadlifts. –x20-50 9. Wrestler’s bridge press. –x10 10. Turkish get ups. –x5 (each side) 11. Janda or Ab Pavelizer situps. 12. Chin up ladders. –alternate with a partner. The circuit is done with no rest between exercises for one set of the above repetitions with kettlebells that weight about 23.6 kilograms or 52 pounds each. The workout is under 15.00 and I attempt to lessen the time every workout. Zack and Steve Maxwell are ready to take on their kettlebells.
Pavel Tsatsouline (The Russian Kettlebell Challenge: Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades)
It’s no secret that kettlebells were standard equipment for Eastern Bloc strength athletes and old time strongmen—they are excellent for swings, laterals, rowing and a variety of throwing-related movements.
Pavel Tsatsouline (The Russian Kettlebell Challenge: Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades)
The clean draws its name from the requirement to bring the weight to your shoulders in one ‘clean’ movement. Pick up the kettlebell off the floor, the same way you would for the one arm swing. Note that the starting position for all the pulls, swings, cleans, and snatches is identical. Swing the kettlebell back and then immediately toward your shoulder.
Pavel Tsatsouline (The Russian Kettlebell Challenge: Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades)
You can think of the snatch as a clean to the point above your head. Do not even think about taking it on until you have mastered one arm swings and cleans! Stand over a kettlebell, your feet about shoulder width apart, your weight on your heels. Inhale, arch your back, push your butt back, and bend your knees. Reach for the bell with one hand, the arm straight, while keeping the other arm away from your body (initially you may help yourself by pushing with the free hand against your thigh but it is considered ‘no class’ by most gireviks). Swing the bell back and whip it straight overhead in one clean movement. Note that the pulling arm will bend and your body will shift to the side opposite to the weight. But you do not need to worry about trying to do it that way; just pull straight up and your body will find an efficient path in a short while. Do not lift with your arm, but rather with your hips. Project the force straight up, rather than back—as in a jump. You may end up airborne or at least on your toes. It is OK as long as you roll back on your heels by the time the bell comes down. Dip under the K-bell as it is flipping over the wrist. Absorb the shock the same way you did for cleans. Fix the weight overhead, in the press behind the neck position for a second, then let it free fall between your legs as you are dropping into a half squat. Keep the girya near your body when it comes down. As an option, lower the bell to your shoulder before dropping it between the legs. Ease into the one arm power snatch because even a hardcore deadlifter’s hamstrings and palms are guaranteed to take a beating. Especially if your kettlebells are rusty like the ones I trained with at the ‘courage corner’. It was a long time after my discharge before my palms finally lost their rust speckled calluses. Unlike the deadlift, the kettlebell snatch does not impose prohibitively strict requirements on spinal alignment and hamstring flexibility. If you are deadlifting with a humped over back you are generally asking for trouble; KB snatches let you get away with a slightly flexed spine. It is probably due to the fact that your connective tissues absorb shock more effectively when loaded rapidly. Your ligaments have wavy structures. A ballistic shock—as long as it is of a reasonable magnitude—is absorbed by these ‘waves’, which straighten out like springs.
Pavel Tsatsouline (The Russian Kettlebell Challenge: Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades)
was hard to tell how lasting these trends would be. I told myself it was the nature of democracies—including America’s—to swing between periods of progressive change and conservative retrenchment. In fact, what was striking was how easily Klaus would have fit in with the Republican Senate caucus back home, just as I could readily picture Erdogan as a local power broker on the Chicago City Council. Whether this was a source of comfort or concern, I couldn’t decide.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The rusty hinge of a grackle sounds from the trees overhead. He’s about to apologize, to say that he made a mistake and go home, when she offers him the ice cream sandwich. For the first time all afternoon, she lowers her guard, with something like a smile. “Look,” she says. “I played along a little. I waited with those other women and let you buy me ice cream like we were just another hetero couple out on our hetero Sunday date with the boringly hetero idea to go to the park. Now have some ice cream, I don’t want to eat all of it.” He takes a bite, and she pulls it back. “One thing I’ll tell you, though,” she says. “You move differently than before.” “Move differently?” “Yeah, you were always graceful, but you used to be so careful to swing your hips. You were a languid boy, who learned to move like a woman, who then learned to move like a boy again, but without wiping your hard drive each time. You’ve got all these glitches in the way you move. I was watching you in the ice cream line—you slither.” “Wow, Reese, just wow.” “No! It’s charismatic. Remember how Johnny Depp pretended to be a drunk Keith Richards pretending to be a fey pirate? You can’t help but be a little drawn in, like: What’s going on with that one?” She smiles at him and takes a lick of ice cream, mock innocent. “I forget what it’s like being around trans women,” he admits. “That for once, I’m not the only one constantly analyzing the gender dynamics of every situation to play my role.” “Welcome back,” she says, seeming considerably cheered. “You must have also forgotten that I taught you everything you know.” “Please. The student surpassed the master long ago.” “Girl, you wish.” It’s like coming home, that quick “girl.” Something warmer and sweeter than the spring sun heating his neck and the ice cream lingering on his tongue. It’s scary-seductive, emphasis on scary. Start looking for that kind of comfort and he’s bound to make a fool of himself.
Torrey Peters (Detransition, Baby)
Infant clouds of the gloaming were struggling to prove their loyalty to the wind. Earth strived hard to prove its fertility. Somewhere, the flowers fought hard to preserve the fragrance in their wombs for the unknown tomorrow. The life was on an endless swing, mine and yours.
Soman Gouda (Spoor of an Indian Horse)
Kettlebell swings are the most effective full body exercise for this very reason. It is great as a stand-alone exercise and can be programmed into any style for every goal imaginable. This creates a problem within itself; most people say that Swings make their back pain worse. The swing is a very hard movement to learn because most individuals have a hard time activating and working the proper muscles.
Daniel Fredell (Simple to Savage Kettlebell: Taking You from Beginner to Advanced)
Toward the end of the shift, when the orders from the waitresses had slowed to a trickle and the cleaning up of the kitchen had begun, J.T. picked a CD and slipped it into the CD player the cooks kept on top of a reach-in refrigerator. He cranked the volume to seven and hit Play. Offspring doing "Bad Habit." It was one of the kitchen staff standards. They favored seriously hard-edged rock at the end of a tough night. The worse the night, the wilder the music. Skeet, one of the other cooks, heard the opening bars and gave J.T. a wink. "It wasn't that bad of a night," she said. "Oh, Skeet, you think every night is a Melissa Etheridge night," J.T. teased. He waltzed over, took Skeet by the waist, and drew her into a completely incongruous dance, as if they were keeping time to a different piece of music. "First time you've danced with a guy, Skeet?" "No, only I prefer guys with some idea of rhythm," Skeet said. J.T. released her, laughing. "Come on, Tom," he said, inviting the fry cook to dance. "Let's go." "Yeah, when pigs fly," Tom said. "No one wants to dance," J.T. complained. Then he spotted Lianne coming through the swinging doors. "Lianne! Dance with me." He snapped his fingers. "I got dancin' feet." "Dance to this?" Lianne said, turning up her nose. "Skeet! Stick in Rihanna," J.T. ordered. Seconds later Rihanna came on. But still Lianne refused. "J.T., you're at work," she said. She gave him a peck on the cheek and went back to the dining room just as Marquez passed through the door. J.T. retreated a bit, stepping back behind the line and pretending to go back to work. Marquez started to do side work, dipping tartar sauce into little plastic cups, but J.T. knew her too well to think she could ignore the music. Within seconds he could see the effect-- a motion beginning with her head, swaying just slightly at first, translated down her neck to her shoulders, her bottom, her legs, topped off by a little twirl with the tartar sauce spoon still in her hand. J.T. smiled ruefully. The future Harvard girl. The future corporate lawyer. There wasn't anything wrong in dancing with his former girlfriend, was there? After all, a moment earlier he'd been dancing with Skeet. He'd even asked Tom, although the fry cook was unlikely to be seen as a threat by Lianne. No, he should stick to his work. Marquez was now dancing far more than she was filling cups of tartar sauce. J.T. whipped off his apron. Screw it. He had dancin' feet. What was he supposed to do? He took the spoon from Marquez and set it down. "Crank it, Skeet," he said. By the time Lianne reappeared in the kitchen, Marquez was up on the stainless steel counter, hands in the air over her head, hips thrusting, hair loose and flying, doing death-defying moves. J.T. was dancing more sedately below her, choosing to keep his feet on the ground. "Is this really--" Lianne began, but the music drowned her out. She caught J.T.'s eye. He gave her a wan grin and tried to draw her into the moment. But Lianne just looked angry and hurt.
Katherine Applegate (Beach Blondes: June Dreams / July's Promise / August Magic (Summer, #1-3))
Yes, Mr. Gadwin! Tell Morgan I’ll be at the cove. He knows where.” With a smile and a wave, she was off again, running straight toward the Thames, basket swinging and curls flying. She turned the corner of the waterfront street known as “the Beach” and collided with something, head-on. Her calico skirts billowed as she sat down hard on the cobblestones. Feminine laughter
Cynthia Wright (Silver Storm (Raveneau, #1))
Devon Randle went down the center aisle toward the back of the dining room, where a set of swinging doors opened into the kitchen. An arm’s length or so short of the doors, he’d turned hard on his heels, spinning, shucking a pair of six-guns out of the holsters and into his hands. He’d stepped to the side, out of the way of the swinging doors, so no one could surprise him from that direction.
William W. Johnstone (Rebel Yell (Savage Texas, #4))
During dessert Vikki finally managed to edge in one complaint. “It was our first anniversary last month,” she said, “and do you know what my newlywed besotted husband bought me? A food processor! Me—a food processor!” “It was a hint, Viktoria.” Vikki theatrically rolled her eyes. Richter just rolled his. Trying not to smile, Alexander glanced at Tania, who was loving on her death-by-chocolate cake and hardly paying attention. She embraced electric gadgets with all her heart. There was not an electric can opener, a blender, a coffee maker that did not get his wife wildly enthusiastic. She window shopped for these items every Saturday, read their manuals in the store and then at night regaled Alexander with their technical attributes, as if the manuals she was reciting were Pushkin’s poetry. “Tania, darling, my closest friend,” said Vikki, “please tell me you agree. Don’t you think a food processor is extremely unromantic?” After thinking carefully, her mouth full, Tatiana said, “What kind of food processor?” For Christmas, Alexander bought Tatiana a Kitchen-Aid food processor, top of the line, the best on the market. Inside it she found a gold necklace. Despite a very full house, and Anthony right outside on the couch, she made love to Alexander that Christmas night in candlelight wearing nothing but the necklace, perched and posted on top of him, her soft silken hair floating in a mane and her warm breasts swinging into his chest.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
It sure can feel like you’re in the boxing ring of life sometimes. The bell goes off, and you go in swinging with all your might, doing the best you can, fighting the good fight. Then you receive a blow from out of nowhere. You’re stunned! You can hardly breathe, and you aren’t sure you’ll ever rise again. Well, whether you’ve lost a job, been diagnosed with an illness, or found yourself in some other difficult situation, God is there with you. In fact, He got into the ring the moment you did. He is right there ready to help you get back on your feet. Isn’t it great to know you’re not out there taking on the world all by yourself? No matter how many blows the world delivers, God is with you—always and in all ways! Your Promises from God Today OCTOBER 23 Evening The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. PSALM 145:20 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ISAIAH 41:10 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:8
Anonymous (Joy for the Journey: Morning and Evening)
She dangled in mid-air, her skirt hooked up on the trellis, a pair of stockings and drawers on full display. "Tell me madam, have we met before?" he called up to her. "You look familiar, in an odd way." He pretended to think hard, rubbing his chin. "For pity's sake," she hissed, her voice muffled by the ivy. "Help me down you fool." "Hmmm. Let me consider it. Perhaps, for once, you ought to be polite to me and respectful for once. Or else you can hang there until Easter." "Suit yourself then! I can make my own way down." "Shall you swing from my chandelier as an encore?" he asked politely, greatly enjoying the show.
Jayne Fresina (Once Upon a Kiss (Book Club Belles Society, #1))
Clinton got out there and created a new narrative on the economy, which took some of the needles out of Obama,” says Republican strategist Mike Murphy. “It was the biggest single number-moving event in the entire campaign. It was devastatingly important to the Obama guys. And he put him back in business.” (It also helped, Murphy adds, that “the Romney campaign was totally incompetent.”) In 2000, Clinton had famously faulted Al Gore for not letting Clinton rally the base in key swing states. It was not a mistake Barack Obama was going to repeat. In addition to his convention speech, Clinton stumped for Obama in swing states like Florida and Ohio. Unlike Gore and his campaign team, “the Obama people, despite whatever hard feelings they had, were pretty dispassionate and not afraid to let him come in and steal the show, if they thought it would be helpful,” says a former Clinton official who worked in the Obama administration. Clinton even starred in a widely seen advertisement for Obama, declaring that “President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education, and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class. That’s what happened when I was president.”15
Daniel Halper (Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine)
If your needs are not attainable through safe instruments, the solution is not to increase the rate of return by upping the level of risk. Instead, goals may be revised, savings increased, or income boosted through added years of work. . . . Somebody has to care about the consequences if uncertainty is to be understood as risk. . . . As we’ve seen, the chances of loss do decline over time, but this hardly means that the odds are zero, or negligible, just because the horizon is long. . . . In fact, even though the odds of loss do fall over long periods, the size of potential losses gets larger, not smaller, over time. . . . The message to emerge from all this hype has been inescapable: In the long run, the stock market can only go up. Its ascent is inexorable and predictable. Long-term stock returns are seen as near certain while risks appear minimal, and only temporary. And the messaging has been effective: The familiar market propositions come across as bedrock fact. For the most part, the public views them as scientific truth, although this is hardly the case. It may surprise you, but all this confidence is rather new. Prevailing attitudes and behavior before the early 1980s were different. Fewer people owned stocks then, and the general popular attitude to buying stocks was wariness, not ebullience or complacency. . . . Unfortunately, the American public’s embrace of stocks is not at all related to the spread of sound knowledge. It’s useful to consider how the transition actually evolved—because the real story resists a triumphalist interpretation. . . . Excessive optimism helps explain the popularity of the stocks-for-the-long-run doctrine. The pseudo-factual statement that stocks always succeed in the long run provides an overconfident investor with more grist for the optimistic mill. . . . Speaking with the editors of Forbes.com in 2002, Kahneman explained: “When you are making a decision whether or not to go for something,” he said, “my guess is that knowing the odds won’t hurt you, if you’re brave. But when you are executing, not to be asking yourself at every moment in time whether you will succeed or not is certainly a good thing. . . . In many cases, what looks like risk-taking is not courage at all, it’s just unrealistic optimism. Courage is willingness to take the risk once you know the odds. Optimistic overconfidence means you are taking the risk because you don’t know the odds. It’s a big difference.” Optimism can be a great motivator. It helps especially when it comes to implementing plans. Although optimism is healthy, however, it’s not always appropriate. You would not want rose-colored glasses in a financial advisor, for instance. . . . Over the long haul, the more you are exposed to danger, the more likely it is to catch up with you. The odds don’t exactly add, but they do accumulate. . . . Yet, overriding this instinctive understanding, the prevailing investment dogma has argued just the reverse. The creed that stocks grow steadily safer over time has managed to trump our common-sense assumption by appealing to a different set of homespun precepts. Chief among these is a flawed surmise that, with the passage of time, downward fluctuations are balanced out by compensatory upward swings. Many people believe that each step backward will be offset by more than one step forward. The assumption is that you can own all the upside and none of the downside just by sticking around. . . . If you find yourself rejecting safe investments because they are not profitable enough, you are asking the wrong questions. If you spurn insurance simply because the premiums put a crimp in your returns, you may be destined for disappointment—and possibly loss.
Zvi Bodie
The muscles of Sue’s legs tensed, and the saddle lurched. One of the little girls screamed. And then the Tyrannosaur came down from the leap that had carried her over the besieged Wardens. Sue landed with one clawed foot on the street, and the other came down squarely on the Caddy’s hood, like a falcon descending upon a rabbit. There was an enormous sound of shrieking metal and breaking glass, and the saddle lurched wildly again. I leaned over to see what had happened. The car’s hood and engine block had been compacted into a two-foot-thick section of twisted metal. Even as I looked, Sue leaned over the car in a curiously birdlike movement, opened her enormous jaws, and ripped the roof off. Inside was Li Xian, dressed in a black shirt and trousers. The ghoul’s forehead had a nasty gash in it, and green-black blood had sheeted over one side of his face. His eyes were blank and a little vague, and I figured he’d clipped his head on the steering wheel or window when Sue brought his sliding car to an abrupt halt. Li Xian shook his head and then started to scramble out of the car. Sue roared again, and the sound must have terrified Li Xian, because all of his limbs jerked in spasm and he fell on his face to the street. Sue leaned down again, her jaws gaping, but the ghoul rolled under the car to get away from them. So Sue kicked the car, and sent it tumbling end over end three or four times down the street. The ghoul let out a scream and stared up at Sue in naked terror, covering his head with his arms. Sue ate him. Snap. Gulp. No more ghoul. “What’s with that?” Butters screamed, his voice high and frightened. “Just covering his head with his arms? Didn’t he see the lawyer in the movie?” “Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them,” I replied, turning Sue around. “Hang on!” I rode the dinosaur into the stream of zombies following in the Wardens’ wake and let her go to town. Sue chomped and stomped and smacked zombies fifty feet through the air with swinging blows of her snout. Her tail batted one particularly vile-looking zombie into the brick wall of the nearest building, and the zombie hit so hard and so squishily that it just stuck to the wall like a refrigerator magnet, arms and legs spread in a sprawl.
Tatiana sat on the bench by the bay, by the morning water, and watched her son push himself on a tire swing. Her arms were twisted around her stomach. She was trying not to rock like Alexander rocked at three o’clock in the morning. Has he left me? Did he kiss my hand and go? No. It wasn’t possible. Something’s happened. He can’t cope, can’t make it, can’t find a way out, a way in. I know it. I feel it. We thought the hard part was over—but we were wrong. Living is the hardest part. Figuring out how to live your life when you’re all busted up inside and out—there is nothing harder. Oh dear God. Where is Alexander?
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
You’re so damned brilliant," said Phelim. "You know everything. It’s hard-set you’d be to give yourself a dull Saturday afternoon. We’re all puppets—not the old Queens only, but the rest of us, man, woman and child, looking the fools of the world. [...] You have them there, on their strings, all curled tight to your littlest finger; and you little heeding as you swing them what soul you may bruise.
Dorothy Dunnett (Queens' Play (The Lymond Chronicles, #2))
Don’t just timidly swing at the problems in your life, swing hard enough to knock them out! Small efforts produce small results, big efforts produce big results!
DeWayne Owens
I’d looked around my room at the ribbons and sashes and rosettes hanging from the walls, at the photos of my ponies clearing the highest fences with me crouched in the saddle, a look of utter determination on my face. I’d made myself look hard at the pictures, at my legs swinging backwards over the fences, at my body lying low over my pony’s neck, my hands grasping at the reins as I turned them in mid-air. At the way that Teddy’s eyes were bulging as I pulled him around a tight turn, at the way the veins popped out on Buck’s lathered neck, at Springbok’s open mouth, dripping with foam. I’d looked hard at them all, and I hadn’t liked what I’d seen.
Kate Lattey (Triple Bar (Pony Jumpers, #3))
Medical Warning: Talk to your doctor before beginning a John Locke series, as studies have shown them to be habit-forming and highly addictive. Do not read Locke if you suffer from high blood pressure or other heart-related issues, as readers often experience mood swings, increased pulses, elevated heart rates, and have reported unexpected shifts in body position that take them to the edge of their seats. Do not drive or use machinery while reading Locke novels. Locke novels are not for everyone, and may cause serious reactions including insomnia, night terrors, and uncontrollable, maniacal laughter. Tell your doctor right away if you have these, or if you experience unusual changes in your behavior including increased sexual urges, palpitations, or prolonged erections. Common side effects include confusion, hysteria, and trouble swallowing a given premise. Do not drink alcohol while reading Locke novels, though those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse may be more prone to understanding the material. Adverse reactions to Locke novels include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, severe itching, rectal bleeding, purple spots under the skin, and Jimmy Legs. In extreme cases, readers have reported laughing so hard they not only shit their pants, but other’s pants, as well. Upon completing a Locke series be prepared to experience symptoms of withdrawal, including fear, anger, extreme sadness, and moderate to severe depression. Ask your doctor today if John Locke novels are right for you!
John Locke (The President's Daughter (Donovan Creed))
Femi turned around as he heard the door swing open. Chioma appeared in a white thick towel tied around her sexy body, from above her small and well-rounded breasts. Her artificial hair took refuge under a transparent shower cap. Even with a washed-up makeup-free face, her beauty radiated and penetrated every inch of the tastelessly furnished room. Tension traveled across the floor that separated the pair as they stared hard and awkwardly at each other’s sexy figure. After a momentary loss of consciousness, the two were brought back to their senses. ‘You need to turn around so I can get dressed,’ she purred. As a gentleman would, Femi, without any utterance, quickly turned away without nurturing a second thought. He stared through the window, again, at the police van parked outside. He tried to observe what was going on inside the van, but nothing. His attention was brought back to Chioma as he stared at her from the back of his eyes. He went into whirlwinds of impure thoughts. ‘Femi… Femi… Femi!’ He was brought back to his senses as Chioma repeatedly called out his name. He slowly trained his sight upon Chioma who was dressed in a sexy, semi-transparent, cream nightgown that revealed shades of her nakedness. The nipples of her erect boobies were stiff and swollen. The gown terminated far above her knees, exposing her succulent fresh thighs. Femi’s heart began to race fast. He cleared his throat and quickly caught his breath. ‘Where do I sleep?’ Chioma asked in a half-sexy voice. ‘You have the bed. I’ll have the rug,’ Femi proposed. ‘Are you going to be comfortable sleeping on the rug? We can sleep on the bed together as long as you promise to remain on your side of the bed.’ Femi considered the very tempting offer, but summoned the strength to turn it down. ‘Don’t worry about me. I will be comfortable on the rug. I sometimes sleep on the rug when I’m alone.’ Chioma slipped into the bed in her nightgown and camisole, while Femi strolled to the light switch fastened to the wall.
Nick Nwaogu (The Almost Kiss)
At the Fishhouses Although it is a cold evening, down by one of the fishhouses an old man sits netting, his net, in the gloaming almost invisible, a dark purple-brown, and his shuttle worn and polished. The air smells so strong of codfish it makes one's nose run and one's eyes water. The five fishhouses have steeply peaked roofs and narrow, cleated gangplanks slant up to storerooms in the gables for the wheelbarrows to be pushed up and down on. All is silver: the heavy surface of the sea, swelling slowly as if considering spilling over, is opaque, but the silver of the benches, the lobster pots, and masts, scattered among the wild jagged rocks, is of an apparent translucence like the small old buildings with an emerald moss growing on their shoreward walls. The big fish tubs are completely lined with layers of beautiful herring scales and the wheelbarrows are similarly plastered with creamy iridescent coats of mail, with small iridescent flies crawling on them. Up on the little slope behind the houses, set in the sparse bright sprinkle of grass, is an ancient wooden capstan, cracked, with two long bleached handles and some melancholy stains, like dried blood, where the ironwork has rusted. The old man accepts a Lucky Strike. He was a friend of my grandfather. We talk of the decline in the population and of codfish and herring while he waits for a herring boat to come in. There are sequins on his vest and on his thumb. He has scraped the scales, the principal beauty, from unnumbered fish with that black old knife, the blade of which is almost worn away. Down at the water's edge, at the place where they haul up the boats, up the long ramp descending into the water, thin silver tree trunks are laid horizontally across the gray stones, down and down at intervals of four or five feet. Cold dark deep and absolutely clear, element bearable to no mortal, to fish and to seals . . . One seal particularly I have seen here evening after evening. He was curious about me. He was interested in music; like me a believer in total immersion, so I used to sing him Baptist hymns. I also sang "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." He stood up in the water and regarded me steadily, moving his head a little. Then he would disappear, then suddenly emerge almost in the same spot, with a sort of shrug as if it were against his better judgment. Cold dark deep and absolutely clear, the clear gray icy water . . . Back, behind us, the dignified tall firs begin. Bluish, associating with their shadows, a million Christmas trees stand waiting for Christmas. The water seems suspended above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones. I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn from the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
Elizabeth Bishop
So it was always at night, like a werewolf, that I would take the thing out for an honest run down the coast. I would start in Golden Gate Park, thinking only to run a few long curves to clear my head. . . but in a matter of minutes I'd be out at the beach with the sound of the engine in my ears, the surf booming up on the sea wall and a fine empty road stretching all the way down to Santa Cruz. . . not even a gas station in the whole seventy miles; the only public light along the way is an all-​night diner down around Rockaway Beach. There was no helmet on those nights, no speed limit, and no cooling it down on the curves. The momentary freedom of the park was like the one unlucky drink that shoves a wavering alcoholic off the wagon. I would come out of the park near the soccer field and pause for a moment at the stop sign, wondering if I knew anyone parked out there on the midnight humping strip. Then into first gear, forgetting the cars and letting the beast wind out. . . thirty-​five, forty-​five. . . then into second and wailing through the light at Lincoln Way, not worried about green or red signals, but only some other werewolf loony who might be pulling out, too slowly, to start his own run. Not many of these. . . and with three lanes on a wide curve, a bike coming hard has plenty of room to get around almost anything. . . then into third, the boomer gear, pushing seventy-​five and the beginning of a windscream in the ears, a pressure on the eyeballs like diving into water off a high board. Bent forward, far back on the seat, and a rigid grip on the handlebars as the bike starts jumping and wavering in the wind. Taillights far up ahead coming closer, faster, and suddenly -- zaaapppp -- going past and leaning down for a curve near the zoo, where the road swings out to sea. The dunes are flatter here, and on windy days sand blows across the highway, piling up in thick drifts as deadly as any oil-​slick. . . instant loss of control, a crashing, cartwheeling slide and maybe one of those two-​inch notices in the paper the next day: “An unidentified motorcyclist was killed last night when he failed to negotiate a turn on Highway I.” Indeed. . . but no sand this time, so the lever goes up into fourth, and now there's no sound except wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam, the needle leans down on a hundred, and wind-​burned eyeballs strain to see down the centerline, trying to provide a margin for the reflexes. But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right. . . and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it. . . howling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica. . . letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge. . . The Edge. . . There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others -- the living -- are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it's In. The association of motorcycles with LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end, to the place of definitions.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
A reflection on the stainless steel cupboard door to his left. Just a blur of motion, but he understood its meaning and spun around to see a pantry door swinging open hard, a dark-haired woman charging out of the darkness, her handgun rapidly coming into line with his position. Victor reacted faster, shooting first, two shots, hitting centre mass. The impact knocked her off her feet and threw her backwards into the adjoining room from where she’d emerged. He covered the distance fast, saw her lying on her back, alive, eyes closed, two small circles of blood around the scorch marks in her blouse. She was gasping, one lung collapsed. The gun was right next to her, but she didn’t try to get to it. She was too scared.
Tom Wood (The Hunter (Victor the Assassin, #1))
Silas says go into that store and ask for a hotdog. When they tell you they don’t have hotdogs, stomp your foot really hard and scream like you did in the hotel this morning.” “What the—” He crosses his arms over his chest. “Silas says.” Why the hell am I even doing this? I give Silas the dirtiest look I can and stomp off in the direction of the store he pointed me to. It’s an insurance agency. I swing open the door and three grouchy-looking adults raise their heads to see who has walked in. One of them even has the audacity to scrunch up their nose at me, like I don’t already know I’m dripping water everywhere. “I’d like a hotdog with everything,” I say. I’m met with blank stares. “Are you drunk?” the receptionist asks me. “Do you need help? What’s your name?” I stomp my foot and let out a bloodcurdling scream, at which all three of them drop whatever they’re holding and look at each other. I take their moment of surprise to run out. Silas is waiting for me outside the door. He’s laughing so hard; he’s bent over at the waist. I punch him on the arm and then we both run for the Rover.
Colleen Hoover (Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3))
we hit the tunnel that marks the end of the freeway and dumps out onto the Pacific Coast Highway. I cracked the window open. I always loved the feeling I got when I’d swing out of the tunnel and see and smell the ocean. We followed the PCH as it took us north to Malibu. It was hard for me to go back to the computer when I had the blue Pacific right outside my office window. I finally gave up, lowered the window all the way, and just rode.
Michael Connelly (The Brass Verdict (Harry Bosch, #14; Mickey Haller, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #18))
Patience looked at Vane and saw him dismount- by bringing his leg over the saddlebow and sliding to the ground, landing on his feet. She blinked, and he was by her side. His hands closed about her waist. She almost gasped when he lifted her from the saddle as if she weighed no more than a child. He didn't swing her down, but slowly lowered her to earth, setting her on her feet beside the mare. Less than a foot from him. He held her between his hands; she felt the long fingers flex about her, fingertips on either side of her spine, thumbs against her sensitive midriff. She felt... captured. Vulnerable. His face was a hard mask, his expression intent. Her eyes locked on his, Patience felt the cobbles beneath her feet, but her world continued to spin. It was he- the source of those peculiar sensations. She'd thought it must be, but she'd never felt such sensations before- and those streaking through her now were far stronger than those she'd felt earlier. It was his touch that did it- the touch of his eyes, the touch of his hands. He didn't even need to contact bare skin to make every square inch she possessed react.
Stephanie Laurens (A Rake's Vow (Cynster, #2))
Point for Electra,” Niobe says. Sevro has to stop himself from clapping. Pax tries to recover, but Electra is on him. Three more quick blows knock his razor from his hand. He falls down and Electra lifts her razor to smash him hard on the head. Thraxa slips forward and catches the blade mid-swing with her metal hand. “Temper, temper, little lady.” She pours a little beer on her head. Electra glares up at her. Sevro can’t contain himself any longer. “My little harpy!” He lunges up off the bench and I follow through to the grotto. “Daddy’s home!” A smile slashes across Electra’s dour face as she turns to see her father. She runs to him and lets him scoop her up off the ground.
Pierce Brown (Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4))
Science, by contrast, has no voices speaking on its behalf from the pulpit or almost anywhere else in the political dialogue. So it’s not hard to imagine how such a vast swing in public opinion on evolution could happen over a few short years.
Shawn Lawrence Otto (The War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It)
Think of it like a fast-food franchise, the informant said, like a pizza delivery service. Each heroin cell or franchise has an owner in Xalisco, Nayarit, who supplies the cell with heroin. The owner doesn’t often come to the United States. He communicates only with the cell manager, who lives in Denver and runs the business for him. Beneath the cell manager is a telephone operator, the informant said. The operator stays in an apartment all day and takes calls. The calls come from addicts, ordering their dope. Under the operator are several drivers, paid a weekly wage and given housing and food. Their job is to drive the city with their mouths full of little uninflated balloons of black tar heroin, twenty-five or thirty at a time in one mouth. They look like chipmunks. They have a bottle of water at the ready so if police pull them over, they swig the water and swallow the balloons. The balloons remain intact in the body and are eliminated in the driver’s waste. Apart from the balloons in their mouths, drivers keep another hundred hidden somewhere in the car. The operator’s phone number is circulated among heroin addicts, who call with their orders. The operator’s job, the informant said, is to tell them where to meet the driver: some suburban shopping center parking lot—a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, a CVS pharmacy. The operators relay the message to the driver, the informant said. The driver swings by the parking lot and the addict pulls out to follow him, usually down side streets. Then the driver stops. The addict jumps into the driver’s car. There, in broken English and broken Spanish, a cross-cultural heroin deal is accomplished, with the driver spitting out the balloons the addict needs and taking his cash. Drivers do this all day, the guy said. Business hours—eight A.M. to eight P.M. usually. A cell of drivers at first can quickly gross five thousand dollars a day; within a year, that cell can be clearing fifteen thousand dollars daily. The system operates on certain principles, the informant said, and the Nayarit traffickers don’t violate them. The cells compete with each other, but competing drivers know each other from back home, so they’re never violent. They never carry guns. They work hard at blending in. They don’t party where they live. They drive sedans that are several years old. None of the workers use the drug. Drivers spend a few months in a city and then the bosses send them home or to a cell in another town. The cells switch cars about as often as they switch drivers. New drivers are coming up all the time, usually farm boys from Xalisco County. The cell owners like young drivers because they’re less likely to steal from them; the more experienced a driver becomes, the more likely he knows how to steal from the boss. The informant assumed there were thousands of these kids back in Nayarit aching to come north and drive some U.S. city with their mouths packed with heroin balloons.
Sam Quinones (Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic)
Mopping is day work, don’t you know that?” I said, “This swill hole doesn’t know the difference between night and day. I hardly do myself anymore. All I have to do to wake up broad is lie down and close my eyes. Then it’s like a bell goes off in my head and I jump up and grab a broom or a mop and start swinging. Even in the middle of the night I do that sometimes.
Vera Cleaver (Trial Valley)
When she bent to set another pitcher beside Travis, and he absently reached out to hug her hips, Cade's composure cracked. Lily gasped in surprise as Travis's hand was ripped from her side and then Travis himself was hauled from his chair and shoved toward the door. Ollie leapt up, knocking his own chair over as he attempted to interfere, but Cade grabbed his collar with his spare hand and shoved him in the same direction as Travis. Both men came up swinging, but Cade already had the door open, and with the kick of his boot and a block from his shoulder, he shoved them out into the pouring rain and slammed the door after them. Roy came to the door of his cubicle to investigate the commotion. Lily stared at Cade's calm features for a second, then in an explosion of rage, slammed out of the room in the direction of her chambers. Cade pointed his finger at Roy, sending him scurrying back to bed. Tankard in hand, Ephraim looked up from the table at the young giant standing in the room's center, water streaming from his soaked clothing as he visibly forced his fists to unclench in the sudden emptiness of the room. The older man shook his head and took a sip of his steaming drink. "You certainly do know how to empty a room," Ephraim commented to the house at large. Surveying the havoc he had wreaked, the overturned chairs and spilled plates, the tracks of mud across clean planked floors, the condemning silence of closed doors, Cade reached for a plate and the hot stew kept warming by the fire for him. Without a word, he filled his plate, sat down across from the old man, and began to eat. Ephraim raised his shaggy eyebrows, took a drink, and hid his grin in his cup. It didn't seem like the rest of his company was going to return any too soon. It looked like he'd better learn to get along with this one. Generously,
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
Inspiration struck Cade as he dismounted and crossed the field. Lily was doing her best to ignore him, but that couldn't go on forever. He took the sack from her shoulder and waited for her to straighten. He half expected her to come up swinging, but she merely raised her fists to her hips and glared at him coldly. "Why did you bother returning? Didn't your squaw stroke your masculine pride?" He didn't know whether to kiss her or hit her. Judging neither to be appropriate, Cade shouldered the bag and threw a damper on her hostility. "The child will need clothes. I have come to ask if you will go to town with me to buy the appropriate materials. Perhaps you would like some for yourself also. And Roy." Lily stood there for a full minute, staring at him. She supposed other men would have come with a mouthful of apologies and a handful of flowers. Cade simply skipped all the in-between arguments and pleas and went on to the next subject. She might as well try arguing with herself. "You're not forgiven," she informed him. "And I'm not going anywhere until I gather the rest of this." "Me and Roy will do it tomorrow," Ephraim intruded, seeing Roy's crestfallen expression. In the end it was easier to surrender than to fight. Lily gave in to the majority and agreed to accompany Cade to town. She knew perfectly well that the trip could wait until Saturday, but now that it had been mentioned, she was as eager to go as Roy was. Not
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
On our return from the bush, we went straight back to work at the zoo. A huge tree behind the Irwin family home had been hit by lightning some years previously, and a tangle of dead limbs was in danger of crashing down on the house. Steve thought it would be best to take the dead tree down. I tried to lend a hand. Steve’s mother could not watch as he scrambled up the tree. He had no harness, just his hat and a chainsaw. The tree was sixty feet tall. Steve looked like a little dot way up in the air, swinging through the tree limbs with an orangutan’s ease, working the chainsaw. Then it was my turn. After he pruned off all the limbs, the last task was to fell the massive trunk. Steve climbed down, secured a rope two-thirds of the way up the tree, and tied the other end to the bull bar of his Ute. My job was to drive the Ute. “You’re going to have to pull it down in just the right direction,” he said, chopping the air with his palm. He studied the angle of the tree and where it might fall. Steve cut the base of the tree. As the chainsaw snarled, Steve yelled, “Now!” I put the truck in reverse, slipped the clutch, and went backward at a forty-five-degree angle as hard as I could. With a groan and a tremendous crash, the tree hit the ground. We celebrated, whooping and hollering. Steve cut the downed timber into lengths and I stacked it. The whole project took us all day. By late in the afternoon, my back ached from stacking tree limbs and logs. As the long shadows crossed the yard, Steve said four words very uncharacteristic of him: “Let’s take a break.” I wondered what was up. We sat under a big fig tree in the yard with a cool drink. We were both covered in little flecks of wood, leaves, and bark. Steve’s hair was unkempt, a couple of his shirt buttons were missing, and his shorts were torn. I thought he was the best-looking man I had ever seen in my life. “I am not even going to walk for the next three days,” I said, laughing. Steve turned to me. He was quiet for a moment. “So, do you want to get married?” Casual, matter-of-fact. I nearly dropped the glass I was holding. I had twigs in my hair an dirt caked on the side of my face. I’d taken off my hat, and I could feel my hair sticking to the sides of my head. My first thought was what a mess I must look. My second, third, and fourth thoughts were lists of every excuse in the world why I couldn’t marry Steve Irwin. I could not possibly leave my job, my house, my wildlife work, my family, my friends, my pets--everything I had worked so hard for back in Oregon. He never looked concerned. He simply held my gaze. As all these things flashed through my mind, a little voice from somewhere above me spoke. “Yes, I’d love to.” With those four words my life changed forever.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Then in 1914 things changed. Partageuse found that it too had something the world wanted. Men. Young men. Fit men. Men who had spent their lives swinging an ax or holding a plow and living it hard. Men who were the prime cut to be sacrificed on tactical altars a hemisphere away.
M.L. Stedman
this is for those in our lives who are there for us; those who we can close our eyes and fall and promise that they will catch us; those who make us feel insecure because we know if they ever left us we would be destroyed though we do not want to show it; those who sleep later than us and wake earlier than us to make us breakfast, to pack our lunch, to greet us when we come home; those who we are never able to properly show our gratitude to; those we can never quite repay; those who hide our secrets; those who are patient with our flaws; those who swing before we realize there is someone to defend ourselves against; this is for those who teach us to better ourselves; for those who lead by example of what strength is; for those who complete us; for those who hold us down in our presence and in our absence; this is for those who have shown us no one else can fill their shoes; and no matter how hard someone else could have tried, would have tried, who thought they had a better place in our lives actually never did, and they could never do the job that those are present now are doing; we remain grateful that we have something that others would sacrifice much to get;
with this swing set your child will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely and may also learn the most important lesson of all:No matter how hard you kick,no matter how high you get , you can't get all the way around
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Help me,” the girl pleaded softly. Sam knelt beside her. He recoiled in shock. “Bette?” The left side of Bouncing Bette’s face was covered in blood. There was a gash above her temple. She was panting, gasping, like she had collapsed after a marathon and was trying with her last ounce of energy to crawl across the finish line. “Bette, what happened?” “They’re trying to get me,” Bette cried, and clutched at Sam’s arm. The three dark figures advanced to the edge of the circle of light. One was clearly Orc. No one else was that big. Edilio and Quinn moved into the garage doorway. Sam disengaged from Bette and took up a position beside Edilio. “You want me to beat on you guys, I will!” Orc yelled. “What’s going on here?” Sam demanded. He narrowed his eyes and recognized the other two boys, a kid named Karl, a seventh grader from school, and Chaz, one of the Coates eighth graders. All three were armed with aluminum bats. “This isn’t your business,” Chaz said. “We’re dealing with something here.” “Dealing with what? Orc, did you hit Bette?” “She was breaking the rules,” Orc said. “You hit a girl, man?” Edilio said, outraged. “Shut up, wetback,” Orc said. “Where’s Howard?” Sam asked, just to stall while he tried to figure out what to do. He’d lost one fight to Orc already. Orc took the question as an insult. “I don’t need Howard to handle you, Sam.” Orc marched right up to Sam, stopped a foot away, and put his bat on his shoulder like he was ready to swing for a home run. Like a batter ready for the next fastball. Only this was closer to T-ball: Sam’s head was impossible to miss. “Move, Sam,” Orc ordered. “Okay, I’m not doing this again,” Quinn said. “Let him have her, Sam.” “Ain’t no ‘let me,’” Orc said. “I do what I want.” Sam noticed movement behind Orc. There were people coming down the street, twenty or more kids. Orc noticed it too, and glanced behind him. “They aren’t going to save you,” Orc said, and swung the bat hard. Sam ducked. The bat whooshed past his head, and Orc rotated halfway around, carried forward by the momentum. Sam was thrown off balance, but Edilio was ready. He let loose a roar and plowed headfirst into Orc. Edilio was maybe half Orc’s size, but Orc was knocked off his feet. He sprawled out on the concrete. Chaz went after Edilio, trying to pull him off Orc. The crowd of kids who had come running down the street surged forward. There were angry voices and threats, all aimed at Orc. They yelled, Sam noted, but no one exactly jumped into the unequal fight.
Michael Grant
How did you learn to ballroom dance? That’s quite an accomplishment for a boy your age.” “My mom taught me.” He glanced at her. The anger had faded from his eyes. “I’m pretty good.” “I’m not surprised.” She liked the way he’d perked up. It was good to see his confidence emerging. Too bad he couldn’t showcase his talent for tomorrow’s audience. She was certain it would be beneficial. “Is there anything else you could do for the show? What other talents do you have?” Max shrugged. “Nothing, really.” His feet shuffled under the table. “’Cept being a goalie and building boat models, but I can’t do those for a talent show.” “Is there some other kind of dance you could do?” “It’s too late to come up with a new dance. The show’s tomorrow. Besides, it’s for a parent and their child.” His eyes pulled down at the corners, and he ducked his head. “I wish I could help, but I don’t know how to ballroom dance. I guess it wouldn’t be the same without your mom anyway.” His head lifted. Hope sparkled in his eyes. “You could learn.” “Oh, I—I think it would take longer than a day, Max.” Meridith laughed uneasily. “Especially for me.” His head and shoulders seemed to sink. “I guess you’re right. I only know how to lead, and I don’t know how to teach it.” “I know how.” Jake appeared in the doorway, filling it with his broad shoulders and tall frame. “Didn’t mean to eavesdrop.” “He could teach you!” Max’s eyes widened. He looked back and forth between Jake and Meridith. “Oh,” Meridith said, “We couldn’t ask—” “I’m offering,” Jake said. “I can be here bright and early tomorrow morning.” Max’s dimple hollowed his cheek. “No, I—you don’t understand, the show’s tomorrow night, and I’m a bad dancer.” Jake leaned against the doorframe, crossed his arms. “You said you wanted to help.” “Well, I do, but I don’t see how—you know how to ballroom dance?” The notion suddenly struck her as unlikely. “I can do more than swing a hammer.” “I didn’t mean—” “So you’ll do it?” Max bounced on the chair. She hadn’t seen him this excited since she’d arrived. She looked at Jake. At his wide shoulders, thick arms, sturdy calloused hands. She remembered the look in his eyes just minutes ago and imagined herself trapped in the confines of his embrace for as long as it took her to learn the dance. Which would be about, oh, a few years. “And why would you do this?” It wasn’t as if he owed her anything. Unless he was punching the time clock on the lessons. “Let’s just say I was picked on a time or two myself.” Max rubbed his hands together. “Toby and Travis, eat your heart out!” “Now, hold on. We already missed dress rehearsals. I don’t know if Mrs. Wilcox will let us slip in last minute.” “Call her,” Jake said. He had all the answers, didn’t he? She spared him a scowl as she slid past on her way to the phone. “Hi, Mrs. Wilcox? This is Meridith Ward again.” She looked over her shoulder. Max waited, Jake standing behind him, thumbs hooked in his jeans pockets, looking all smug. “I was wondering. If Max can get a replacement for the dance, could he still participate?” Please say no. “I know he’s missing dress rehearsals and—” “That would be no problem whatsoever.” Mrs. Wilcox sounded delighted. “We’d fit him in and be glad to have him. Have you found him another partner?” “Uh, looks like we have.” She thanked Mrs. Wilcox and hung up, then turned to face a hopeful Max. “What did she say?” he asked. Meridith swallowed hard. “She said they could work you back into the schedule.” She cast Jake a plea. “But I don’t know if I can do this. I wasn’t kidding, I have no rhythm whatsoever.” “Look at the kid. You can’t say no to that.” Max was grinning from ear to ear. It was Meridith’s shoulders that slunk now. Heaven help her. She winced and forced the words. “All right. I’ll do it.” Max let out a whoop and threw his arms around her.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
The waves lapped onto the shore in quiet, relentless ripples. A seagull screeched from somewhere down the shoreline, and another bird replied. She missed home, the comfort of her padded swing, her tall shade trees and scented lilac bushes. If she closed her eyes and blocked out the sound of the waves, she could almost imagine that she was back home in her garden, dozing on her swing under the tall oak— “Hey, Meri!” Jake’s voice shattered the illusion. She craned her head around, following the sound of his voice to an upstairs window. His elbows perched lazily on the ledge. She glared up at him. “Meridith.” “Wanna come take a look?” She’d rather beat the smug grin off his face. “Be right there.” Her bones ached as she climbed the main stairway, a repercussion of her night on the hard floor. Just beyond the guest loft, Jake stood in front of the doorway, making some final adjustment to the latch. It looked different with the area closed off from the hall. The smell of wood and some kind of chemical hung in the air. “What do you think?” He’d already hung the drywall, and the patching was drying, which explained the smell. He swung the door open, showing her the thumb-turn on the other side, then closed the door and demonstrated the lock with the key. Thank you, Vanna. “Are both doors keyed the same?” “Yep.” He threw her the new set of keys, and she caught it clumsily. She’d keep one set in her room and find a hiding spot in the kitchen for the other. He gathered his tools and supplies. Now that he was finished, maybe she could take the kids to the driving range. She could teach them how to tee off. Jake capped the drywall compound, then walked through the new doorway toward the family suite. “Where are you going?” Meridith followed him down the hall. “Patching up the other partition.” “I thought you were done.” “If I get them both patched, they’ll be ready to sand and paint on Monday. You got any more of this green?” “What? I don’t know.” He trotted down the back stairway and unlocked the new door’s thumb-turn. Meridith stopped at the top of the steps, sighing. The sooner he finished, the sooner he’d be out of her life. Out of the house, she corrected herself. That man was not in her life.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))