Swollen Feet Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Swollen Feet. Here they are! All 73 of them:

He didn't see anything." She rolled to her feet. "I was in your bed! We could have scarred him for life!" "Grace, we weren't doing anything. Well, I wasn't. You were snoring." "I don't--" She smoothed her dress down and searched out her sandals, shoving her feet into them. She glanced at herself in the mirror over his dresser and groaned. Hair, wild. Lips, swollen. Face, flushed. Nipples, hard. "Dammit!" She clapped her hands over them. "It's like they're broken!
Jill Shalvis (Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor, #6))
when my mother was pregnant with her second child i was four i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how my mother had gotten so big in such little time my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and said the closest thing to god on this earth is a woman’s body it’s where life comes from and to have a grown man tell me something so powerful at such a young age changed me to see the entire universe rested at my mother’s feet
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Let’s say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don’t worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you’re the one who shot him. He had been a big, twitchy guy with veiny skin stretched over swollen biceps, a tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. Teeth filed into razor-sharp fangs-you know the type. And you’re chopping off his head because, even with eight bullet holes in him, you’re pretty sure he’s about to spring back to his feet and eat the look of terror right off your face. On the follow-through of the last swing, though, the handle of the ax snaps in a spray of splinters. You now have a broken ax. So, after a long night of looking for a place to dump the man and his head, you take a trip into town with your ax. You go to the hardware store, explaining away the dark reddish stains on the broken handle as barbecue sauce. You walk out with a brand-new handle for your ax. The repaired ax sits undisturbed in your garage until the spring when, on one rainy morning, you find in your kitchen a creature that appears to be a foot-long slug with a bulging egg sac on its tail. Its jaws bite one of your forks in half with what seems like very little effort. You grab your trusty ax and chop the thing into several pieces. On the last blow, however, the ax strikes a metal leg of the overturned kitchen table and chips out a notch right in the middle of the blade. Of course, a chipped head means yet another trip to the hardware store. They sell you a brand-new head for your ax. As soon as you get home, you meet the reanimated body of the guy you beheaded earlier. He’s also got a new head, stitched on with what looks like plastic weed-trimmer line, and it’s wearing that unique expression of “you’re the man who killed me last winter” resentment that one so rarely encounters in everyday life. You brandish your ax. The guy takes a long look at the weapon with his squishy, rotting eyes and in a gargly voice he screams, “That’s the same ax that beheaded me!” IS HE RIGHT?
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
It is our custom to consume the person we love. Taboo flesh: swollen genitalia nipples the scrotum the vulva the soles of the feet the palm of the hand heart and liver taste best. Cannibalism is blessed. I'll wear your jawbone round my neck listen to your vertebrae bone tapping bone in my wrists. I'll string your fingers round my waist - what a rigorous embrace. Over my heart I'll wear a brooch with a lock of hair. Nights I'll sleep cradling your skull sharpening my teeth on your toothless grin. Sundays there's Mass and communion and I'll put your relics to rest.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza)
She cried because she'd had such high, high hopes about the Wheelers tonight and now she was terribly, terribly, terribly disappointed. She cried because she was fifty six years old and her feet were ugly and swollen and horrible; she cried because none of the girls had liked her at school and none of the boys had liked her later; she cried because Howard Givings was the only man who'd ever asked her to marry him, and because she'd done it, and because her only child was insane.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
when my mother was pregnant with her second child i was four i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how my mother had gotten so big in such little time my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and said the closest thing to god on this earth is a woman's body it's where life comes from and to have a grown man tell me something so powerful at such a young age changed me to see the entire universe rested at my mother's feet
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
I unzipped my boots but they wouldn’t budge. My feet had swollen in the heat. After much tugging, a queue had started to form behind us. Eventually I had no choice but to hold onto the rail with my legs in the air whilst Adam pulled. It wasn’t my finest hour.
Robert Bryndza (The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard (Coco Pinchard, #1))
His feet were swollen to twice their size, besides being cut here and there. Yet they were the only feet he had, and after dozing for an hour in the sun, he got up and hobbled on.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove)
...the priests of all these cults, the singers, shouters, prayers and exhorters of Bootstrap-lifting have as their distinguishing characteristic that they do very little lifting at their own bootstraps, and less at any other man's. Now and then you may see one bend and give a delicate tug, of a purely symbolical character: as when the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Bootstrap-lifters comes once a year to wash the feet of the poor; or when the Sunday-school Superintendent of the Baptist Bootstrap-lifters shakes the hand of one of his Colorado mine-slaves. But for the most part the priests and preachers of Bootstrap-lifting walk haughtily erect, many of them being so swollen with prosperity that they could not reach their bootstraps if they wanted to. Their role in life is to exhort other men to more vigorous efforts at self-elevation, that the agents of the Wholesale Pickpockets' Association may ply their immemorial role with less chance of interference.
Upton Sinclair (The Profits of Religion)
Once I had flesh the city could pierce with a frown- I'd bleed into sewers like rain. Men without legs on subways moved me, women with swollen feet. Now I belong to them. When I ignore them it's with the confusion of the newly damned- as if I believe I've survived.
Maureen Seaton
His eyes blaze and sparkle, his whole face is crimson with blood that surges from the lowest depths of the heart, his lips quiver, his teeth are clenched, his hair bristles and stands on end, his breathing is forced and harsh, his joints crack from writhing, he groans and bellows, bursts out into speech with scarcely intelligible words, strikes his hands together continually, and stamps the ground with his feet; his whole body is excited and performs great angry threats; it is an ugly and horrible picture of distorted and swollen frenzy - you cannot tell if this vice is more execrable or more hideous.
Seneca (Moral and Political Essays)
If the ghost that haunts the towns of Ypres and Arras and Albert is the staturory British Tommy, slogging with rifle and pack through its ruined streets to this well-documented destiny ‘up the line’, then the ghost of Boulogne and Etaples and Rouen ought to be a girl. She’s called Elsie or Gladys or Dorothy, her ankles are swollen, her feet are aching, her hands reddened and rough. She has little money, no vote, and has almost forgotten what it feels like to be really warm. She sleeps in a tent. Unless she has told a diplomatic lie about her age, she is twenty-three. She is the daughter of a clergyman, a lawyer or a prosperous businessman, and has been privately educated and groomed to be a ‘lady’. She wears the unbecoming outdoor uniform of a VAD or an army nurse. She is on active service, and as much a part of the war as Tommy Atkins.
Lyn Macdonald (The Roses of No Man's Land)
She wanted his swollen length in her hand, in her mouth, in her c#nt. She writhed against him, bare feet slapping on the floor as he spun around and propelled her backward. Her arse hit the door first. His hips ground against her second. He fucked her mouth with his tongue, plundering, taking, possessing. And all the while his hands raked her body. Under her shirt, over her ribs, capturing her breast. She moaned, the sound turning to a cry when he pulled her pyjama top over her head and tossed it aside.
Lexxie Couper (Love's Rhythm (Heart of Fame, #1))
A choking dry-ice smog of disappointment, pooling in the drops and troughs of suddenly uncertain ground. Mudyards, wit here and there the smoking wrecks of ideologies, their wheels and radios gone. River of litter rustling in a swollen course below the sky's black drag and in the ditches mustard gas, a mulch of sodden colouring books, imploded television sets. These are the fretful margins of twentieth century, the boomtowns ragged edge, out past the sink estates, the human landfill, where the wheelchair access paving quakes, gives way like sphagnum moss beneath our feet. It’s 1999, less like date than like a number we restore to in emergencies. pre-packaged in its national front hunting. It’s millennial mummy-wraps. The zeitgeist yawns, as echoing and hollow as the Greenwich dome. It’s April 10th; we find ourselves in red lion square....caught in the crosshairs of geography and time like sitting ducks, held always by surface tension of the instant, by the sensory dazzle. Constant play of light on neural ripples. Fluttering attention pinned to where and when and who we are. The honey-trap of our personal circumstance, of our familiar bodies restless in these chairs.
Alan Moore (Snakes and Ladders)
Kevin gestured feebly to Neil, so Neil pressed the bandage back into place over swollen, reddened skin. Neil dropped his hand back to his side and clenched his fingers into a fist to hide the excited tremor. He doubted either Kevin or Andrew noticed; they were too busy staring each other down. At length Andrew smiled, slow and cold. It was the first time he'd smiled since coming off his drugs, and Neil couldn't help but stare. "Now it's getting fun," Andrew said. "Finally," Kevin said, equal parts exhaustion and exasperation. It took both of them to get ...Neil felt completely recharged as he stared up at Kevin's bunk. He was unsteady on his feet, too buzzed to stand still. The darkness should have hidden the jittery wreck he'd become, but Andrew wasn't fooled. He jabbed Neil's shoulder on his way back out of the room. Neil tore his gaze away from Kevin's unconscious form and followed. Andrew pushed him up against the wall with heavy hands and hard kisses. "Junkie." "I've been waiting for that since June," Neil said. "You've been waiting longer." Andrew didn't bother denying it.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
The second project is in the field of metaphysics: with the aim of showing that, in the words of Professor H. M. Tooten, “evolution is a hoax”, Olivier Gratiolet has undertaken an exhaustive inventory of all the imperfections and inadequacies to which the human organism is heir: vertical posture, for example, gives man only a precarious balance: muscular tension alone keeps him upright, thus causing constant fatigue and discomfort in the spinal column, which, although sixteen times stronger than it would have been were it straight, does not allow man to carry a meaningful weight on his back; feet ought to be broader, more spread out, more specifically suited to locomotion, whereas what he has are only atrophied hands deprived of prehensile ability; legs are not sturdy enough to bear the body’s weight, which makes them bend, and moreover they are a strain on the heart, which has to pump blood about three feet up, whence come swollen feet, varicose veins, etc.; hip joints are fragile and constantly prone to arthrosis or serious fractures; arms are atrophied and too slender; hands are frail, especially the little finger, which has no use, the stomach has no protection whatsoever, no more than the genitals do; the neck is rigid and limits rotation of the head, the teeth do not allow food to be grasped from the sides, the sense of smell is virtually nil, night vision is less than mediocre, hearing is very inadequate; man’s hairless and unfurred body affords no protection against cold, and, in sum, of all the animals of creation, man, who is generally considered the ultimate fruit of evolution, is the most naked of all.
Georges Perec (Life A User's Manual (Verba Mundi Book 18))
He remembered the black sands beach along California’s lost coast where his mother finally gave up the fight. He hadn’t even realized she’d been injured so badly after running into his father in Seattle. She’d bled most of the way though Oregon, but he hadn’t thought it was serious. He hadn’t known she was bleeding out on the inside, a kidney and her liver ruptured, her intestines bruised beyond repair. […] They stopped six feet from the tide and she made him repeat every promise she’d ever dragged out of him: don’t look back, don’t slow down, and don’t trust anyone. Be anyone but himself, and never be anyone for too long. By the time Neil understood she was saying goodbye, it was too late. She died gasping for one more breath, panting with something that might have been words or his name or fear. Neil could still feel her fingernails digging into his arms as she fought not to slip away, and the memory left him shaking all over. Her abdomen felt like stone when he touched her, swollen and hard. He tried pulling her from her seat only once, but the sound of her dried blood ripping off the vinyl like Velcro killed him. […] He hadn’t cried when the flames caught, and he hadn’t flinched when he pulled her cooling bones out. […] By the time he found the highway again he was numb with shock, and he lasted another day before he fell to his knees on the roadside and puked his guts out.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
I couldn't stop picturing you naked and wet." "If you knew the things you've done in my imagination..." "I touched myself while thinking of you." He groaned against her lips. "Jesus Christ, that's one of them." She whimpered in protest as his fingers withdrew from her body. He slid his hands to her bottom and lifted her off her feet, carrying her across the room, to where a floor-length mirror in a thick gilded frame stood propped against the wall. It must have been too heavy to move. He spun her to face it, positioning himself behind her. Their gazes locked in the mirrored reflection. His eyes were dark, fierce, demanding. "Show me." He yanked her skirts to her waist- frock, petticoat, chemise, and all- exposing her completely. "Show me how you touched yourself." Penny's heartbeat stalled. The gruff command both scandalized and excited her. With a rough flex of his arms, he hauled her to him. His erection throbbed against the small of her back. "Show me." Penny stared into the mirror. A bolder, naughtier version of herself gazed back. She placed a hand on her belly and eased it downward, until her fingertips disappeared into a thatch of amber curls. She hesitated, holding her breath. "More," he demanded. "I want to see you." His gruffness aroused her, but she wasn't intimidated. With him, she knew she was safe. She raised her free arm above her head, clasping his neck for balance and resting her head against his chest. He wrapped his arm about her torso, holding her tight and pinning her lifted skirts at the waist. Her joints softened, and her thighs fell slightly apart. "That's it. Spread yourself for me. Let me see." The woman in the mirror did as she was told, sending her fingers downward to part the pink, swollen folds of her sex. A single fingertip settled over the sensitive bud at the crest, circling gently. His ragged breath warmed her ear. "God, you're beautiful." She stared at the reflection, transfixed by the eroticism of the image within. She felt like a woman in a boudoir painting, flushed with desire and unashamed of her body's curves and shadows. Aware of the power she held, even in her vulnerable, naked state. As her excitement mounted, she strummed faster. She was panting, arching her back.
Tessa Dare (The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3))
Poem for My Father You closed the door. I was on the other side, screaming. It was black in your mind. Blacker than burned-out fire. Blacker than poison. Outside everything looked the same. You looked the same. You walked in your body like a living man. But you were not. would you not speak to me for weeks would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello would you find a shoe out of place and beat me would you come home late would i lose the key would you find my glasses in the garbage would you put me on your knee would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died would you come home drunk and snore would you beat me on the legs would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom would you make everything worse to make everything better i believe in god, the father almighty, the maker of heaven, the maker of my heaven and my hell. would you beat my mother would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater would you carry her to the bed would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head would you make love to her hair would you caress her hair would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest would you make the dead look beautiful would the men at the elks club would the rich ladies at funerals would the ugly drunk winos on the street know ben pretty ben regular ben would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you would he leave you with her screaming red hair would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again would you hate him would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him (bye bye to the will of grandpa bye bye to the family fortune bye bye when he stompled that hat, to the gold watch, embalmer's palace, grandbaby's college) mother crying silently, making floating island sending it up to the old man's ulcer would grandmother's diamonds close their heartsparks in the corner of the closet yellow like the eyes of cockroaches? Old man whose sperm swims in my veins, come back in love, come back in pain.
Toi Derricotte
But it wasn't all bad. Sometimes things wasn't all bad. He used to come home easing into bed sometimes, not too drunk. I make out like I'm asleep, 'casue it's late, and he taken three dollars out of my pocketbook that morning or something. I hear him breathing, but I don't look around. I can see in my mind's eye his black arms thrown back behind his head, the muscles like a great big peach stones sanded down, with veins running like little swollen rivers down his arms. Without touching him I be feeling those ridges on the tips of my fingers. I sees the palms of his hands calloused to granite, and the long fingers curled up and still. I think about the thick, knotty hair on his chest, and the two big swells his breast muscles make. I want to rub my face hard in his chest and feel the hair cut my skin. I know just where the hair growth slacks out-just above his navel- and how it picks up again and spreads out. Maybe he'll shift a little, and his leg will touch me, or I feel his flank just graze my behind. I don't move even yet. Then he lift his head, turn over, and put his hand on my waist. If I don't move, he'll move his hand over to pull and knead my stomach. Soft and slow-like. I still don't move, because I don't want him to stop. I want to pretend sleep and have him keep rubbing my stomach. Then he will lean his head down and bite my tit. Then I don't want him to rub my stomach anymore. I want him to put his hand between my legs. I pretend to wake up, and turn to him, but not opening my legs. I want him to open them for me. He does, and I be soft and wet where his fingers are strong and hard. I be softer than I ever been before. All my strength in his hand. My brain curls up like wilted leaves. A funny, empty feeling is in my hands. I want to grab holt of something, so I hold his head. His mouth is under my chin. Then I don't want his hands between my legs no more, because I think I am softening away. I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me. Too heavy to hold, too light not to. He puts his thing in me. In me. In me. I wrap my feet around his back so he can't get away. His face is next to mine. The bed springs sounds like them crickets used to back home. He puts his fingers in mine, and we stretches our arms outwise like Jesus on the cross. I hold tight. My fingers and my feet hold on tight, because everything else is going, going. I know he wants me to come first. But I can't. Not until he does. Not until I feel him loving me. Just me. Sinking into me. Not until I know that my flesh is all that be on his mind. That he couldnt stop if he had to. That he would die rather than take his thing our of me. Of me. Not until he has let go of all he has, and give it to me. To me. To me. When he does, I feel a power. I be strong, I be pretty, I be young. And then I wait. He shivers and tosses his head. Now I be strong enough, pretty enough, and young enough to let him make me come. I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind. My legs drop back onto the bed. I don't make a noise, because the chil'ren might hear. I begin to feel those little bits of color floating up into me-deep in me. That streak of green from the june-bug light, the purple from the berries trickling along my thighs, Mama's lemonade yellow runs sweet in me. Then I feel like I'm laughing between my legs, and the laughing gets all mixed up with the colors, and I'm afraid I'll come, and afraid I won't. But I know I will. And I do. And it be rainbow all inside. And it lasts ad lasts and lasts. I want to thank him, but dont know how, so I pat him like you do a baby. He asks me if I'm all right. I say yes. He gets off me and lies down to sleep. I want to say something, but I don't. I don't want to take my mind offen the rainbow. I should get up and go to the toilet, but I don't. Besides Cholly is asleep with his leg thrown over me. I can't move and I don't want to.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Then the events leading up to her collapse came back to her in a flash. Her hands flew automatically to her belly and she was only partially reassured to feel the tight ball there. Was her baby okay? Was she herself okay? She blinked harder to bring the room more into focus. There was light shining through a crack in the bathroom door. A glance at the blinds told her that it was dark outside. Then her gaze fell on the chair beside her bed and she found Ryan staring at her, his gaze intense. She flinched away from the raw emotion shining in his blue eyes. “Hey,” he said quietly. “How are you feeling?” “Numb,” she answered before she could think better of it. “Kind of blank. My head doesn’t hurt anymore. Are my feet still swollen?” He carefully picked up the sheet and pushed it over her feet. “Maybe a little. Not as bad as they were. They’ve been giving you meds and they’re monitoring the baby.” “How is she?” Kelly asked, a knot of fear in her throat. “For now, she’s doing fine. Your blood pressure stabilized, but they might have to do a C-section if it goes back up or if the baby starts showing signs of distress.” Kelly closed her eyes and then suddenly Ryan was close to her, holding her, his lips pressed against her temple. “Don’t worry, love,” he murmured. “You’re supposed to stay calm. You’re getting the best possible care. I’ve made sure of it. They’re monitoring you round-the-clock. And the doctor said the baby has an excellent prognosis at thirty-four weeks’ gestation.” She sagged against the pillow and closed her eyes. Relief pulsed through her but she was so tired she couldn’t muster the energy to do anything more than lie there thanking God that her baby was okay. “I’m going to take care of you, Kell,” Ryan said softly against her temple. “You and our baby. Nothing will ever hurt you again. I swear it.” Tears burned her eyelids. She was emotionally and physically exhausted and didn’t have the strength to argue. Something inside her was broken and she had no idea how to fix it. She felt so…disconnected.
Maya Banks (Wanted by Her Lost Love (Pregnancy & Passion, #2))
On the morning that she left the Water Gardens, her father rose from his chair to kiss her on both cheeks. "The fate of Dorne goes with you, daughter," he said, as he pressed the parchment into her hand. "Go swiftly, go safely, be my eyes and ears and voice... but most of all, take care." "I will, Father." She did not shed a tear. Arianne Martell was a princess of Dorne, and Dornishmen did not waste water lightly. It was a near thing, though. It was not her father's kisses nor his hoarse words that made her eyes glisten, but the effort that brought him to his feet, his legs trembling under him, his joints swollen and inflamed with gout. Standing was an act of love. Standing was an act of faith. He believes in me. I will not fail him.
George R.R. Martin (The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6))
As he plods behind Cameron and Summer, he can’t help but stare at Summer’s exposed, glistening skin. His thoughts aren’t depraved or even mildly in the splasher. In fact, he focuses on the marks of cruelty crisscrossing her back, stomach, and shoulders. He trudges along, drenched, feet swollen, constantly searching for even a hint of a breeze, all while being forced to stare at the alarming network of burns traversing Summer’s delicate skin. This latticework of hate reveals a brutal truth—one he can scarcely comprehend. Yes, he’s glimpsed and felt her scars before, but this is the first time he’s really, truly seen the severity and extent of her life as a slave. With each step, he must digest the monstrosities of her past, leaving him utterly devastated.
Laura Kreitzer (Burning Falls (Summer Chronicles, #3))
It was all beginning to run together in the back of Eleanor's mind, and the things that had probably really happened were confused with the things that probably hadn't. And every day everything in her whole past life - the real things and the imaginary things - was being pushed farther and farther back, because going to high school was so enormous, so vast! so different from all of Eleanor's life before. The milling crowds in the hall between classes, all those jostling elbows and swollen shoulders and bosoms, all those enormous hands and feet, they pushed and thumped and shoved at Eleanor's childhood, until there was no room anymore for anything but now, right now, a hurrying rushing now that was just incredibly thrilling, or absolutely rotten and just disgusting, this heaving present moment, right now.
Jane Langton (The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles #4))
But what might a woman say about church as she? What might a woman say about the church as body and bride? Perhaps she would speak of the way a regular body moves through the world—always changing, never perfect—capable of nurturing life, not simply through the womb, but through hands, feet, eyes, voice, and brain. Every part is sacred. Every part has a function. Perhaps she would speak of impossible expectations and all the time she’s wasted trying to contort herself into the shape of those amorphous silhouettes that flit from magazines and billboards into her mind. Or of this screwed-up notion of purity as a status, as something awarded by men with tests and checklists and the power to give it and take it away. Perhaps she would speak of the surprise of seeing herself—flaws and all—in the mirror on her wedding day. Or of the reality that with new life comes swollen breasts, dry heaves, dirty diapers, snotty noses, late-night arguments, and a whole army of new dangers and fears she never even considered before because life-giving isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds, but it’s a thousand times more beautiful. Perhaps she would talk about being underestimated, about surprising people and surprising herself. Or about how there are moments when her own strength startles her, and moments when her weakness—her forgetfulness, her fear, her exhaustion—unnerve her. Maybe she would tell of the time, in the mountains with bare feet on the ground, she stood tall and wise and felt every cell in her body smile in assent as she inhaled and exhaled and in one loud second realized, I’m alive! I’m enfleshed! only to forget it the next. Or maybe she would explain how none of the categories created for her sum her up or capture her essence.
Rachel Held Evans
With my polished Verses as a trellis of pure metal Studded cunningly with rhymes of crystal, I shall make for your head an immense Crown, And from my Jealousy, O mortal Madonna, I shall know how to cut a cloak in a fashion, Barbaric, heavy, and stiff, lined with suspicion, Which, like a sentry-box, will enclose your charms; Embroidered not with Pearls, but with all of my Tears! Your Gown will be my Desire, quivering, Undulant, my Desire which rises and which falls, Balances on the crests, reposes in the troughs, And clothes with a kiss your white and rose body. Of my Self-respect I shall make you Slippers Of satin which, humbled by your divine feet, Will imprison them in a gentle embrace, And assume their form like a faithful mold; If I can’t, in spite of all my painstaking art, Carve a Moon of silver for your Pedestal, I shall put the Serpent which is eating my heart Under your heels, so that you may trample and mock, Triumphant queen, fecund in redemptions, That monster all swollen with hatred and spittle. from “To a Madonna
Charles Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du Mal)
Justineau tries to stand. It’s not easy, because her guts are churning, her lungs are full of acid and the floor under her feet heaves like the deck of a ship. Her face feels like a mask of white-hot iron, fitted way too tight over her skull. Things are moving around her, quickly, with no accompanying narrative apart from panting breath and a single muffled shriek. She’s been blind since Caldwell sprayed her, and although the initial rush of tears washed most of the pepper spray out of her eyes, they’re still swollen half shut. She sees blurred shapes, crashing against each other like flotsam in the wake of a flood. She blinks furiously, trying to dredge up some more moisture from her now dry-baked tear ducts. Two of the shapes resolve. One is Selkirk, on her side on the floor of the lab, her legs jackknifing in furious staccato. The other is a hungry which is kneeling astride her, stuffing her spilled intestines into its mouth in pink, sagging coils. More hungries surge in from all sides, hiding Selkirk from view. She’s a honey-pot for putrescent bees. The last Justineau sees of her is her inconsolable face. Melanie!
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts)
Don’t cry Meg. It’s not that bad.” “It’s not that bad? Ha! I’m thirty years old, with two black eyes, a swollen nose, a big, honking, yellow knot on my forehead, and the haircut from hell. As if that isn’t enough, I had a transvestite in my bed this morning, my husband is a lying, cheating, cradle robbing, bastard, who at some point slept with my best friend.” Jack scooted over to the middle of the seat, and stopped listening to his head and wrapped his arms around her. Big mistake! From inside, four faces were pressed to the window. “My last orgasm-with a partner- was…hell I can’t remember when! I frequently knock myself out for entertainment purposes, I have little boobs, big feet, squishy panties, nosy neighbors and demon possessed fish. God hates me!” Jack held her tighter. “I have frequent flyer miles at the hospital. I fed my husband marijuana Ex-lax brownies and shoved a marble up his butt.” Jack pulled away to look at her and she was serious. And crying. Big, sad, alligator tears that made his heart swell. “My mother is a holy rolling, Catholic Dr. Ruth, complete with condoms and Rosary beads. I write about relationships and sex, both of which I suck at and I hired a Private Investigator to pimp me out.” Jack burst out laughing and she pushed him away and swatted his shoulder. “And now you’re laughing at me. Could things get any worse?
Amy Johnson
VW Valley is one of the final mountains one climbs on Selection--but it’s among the worst. VW stands for Voluntary Withdrawal, and when you see the mountain you can understand why people have often quit here. Steep, windswept, and boggy--and at mile thirty it is the point where many recruits quit and remove themselves from the course--broken by the sheer distance, weight, and speed. But not me. Not now. On my backside, I slid down the first steep reentrant leading into the bowl of the valley. I was using the butt of my weapon to steer me as I glissaded down the snow, and I finally slowed at the bottom, near an iced-over stream. I crossed it and started straight up the face with Trucker behind me. On and on and on--until finally at the crest I collapsed and waited for him. Trux’s feet were both badly swollen. Later on he discovered that he’d broken both of his big toes somewhere around this point. It was purely from the incessant pounding his feet were taking. He was in agony. I heard him muttering under his breath. He was mumbling Bible verses to himself. We had often both quietly prayed together before the big marches. Now we needed that help more than ever. “I am holding you by your right hand…Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah, 41:13. If ever I needed to hear such words it was now. It is easy to be cynical and to think you do not need help when all is going your way; but if Selection taught me anything it is that we all have our limits. To push beyond those limits sometimes requires something beyond just ourselves. That is what my faith has given me--a secret strength and help when I have needed it most.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
She fell asleep rapidly, swimming through a haze of pleasant images... walking through the forest in Hampshire... dangling her feet in a cool pond on a hot day... pausing in the kissing gate, while the smell of sun-warmed meadowsweet rose thickly to her nostrils. She closed her eyes and tilted her chin upward, relishing the sultry rays, while a butterfly's wings brushed lightly against her cheek. Entranced by the delicate tickle, she held very still. The silken strokes moved over the tip of her nose, the sensitive periphery of her upper lip, the tender corners of her mouth. Searching blindly, she lifted her face to the brushes of warmth and was rewarded by a gentle pressure that opened her lips and drew a moan from the upper part of her lungs. Lord Sydney was standing with her in the kissing gate, his arms trapping her against the painted ribs of latticework. His mouth searched hers so gently, his body firm against hers, and she writhed in a mute plea for him to hold her more tightly. Seeming to know exactly what she wanted, he pushed his knee into her skirts, right against the place that felt swollen and yearning. Gasping, she curled her fingers in his glossy hair, and he whispered for her to relax, that he would take care of her, satisfy her- "Oh." Blinking hard, she stirred from the sensuous dream as she realized that she was not alone. The bed curtains had been drawn aside, and Nick Gentry's long body was entangled with hers. One large hand was cupped beneath her hips, while his leg wedged more intimately between hers. His breath surged against her ear, filling the shell with moist heat, and then his lips wandered back to hers in a searing path. He absorbed her protest as he kissed her, his tongue searching her mouth, his body levering over hers.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
His eyes flickered with amusement, reflecting sunlight and shade. The rough beard on his chin gave him a wild, dangerous look. Stiffly, she lifted herself onto her toes, bracing a hand against his shoulders. He was steel beneath her grasp. Did he have to watch her so intently? She closed her eyes. It was the only way she would have the courage to do this. Still he waited. It would be a brief meeting of lips. Nothing to be afraid of. If only her heart would remember to keep beating. Holding her breath, she let her lips brush over his. It was the first time she’d ever kissed a man and her mind raced with it. She hardly had a sense of his mouth at all, though the shock of the single touch rushed like liquid fire to her toes. Her part of the bargain was fulfilled. It could be done and over right then. Recklessly, after a moment’s hesitation, she touched her lips once again to him. This time she lingered, exploring the feel of him little by little. His mouth was warm and smooth and wonderful, all of it new and unexpected. He still hadn’t moved, even though her knees threatened to crumble and her heart beat like a thunder drum. Finally he responded with the barest hint of pressure. The warmth of his breath mingled with hers. Without thinking, she let her fingers dig into the sleek muscle of his arms. A low, husky sound rumbled in his throat before he wrapped his arms around her. Heaven and earth. She hadn’t been kissing him at all. The thin ribbon of resistance uncoiled within her as he took control of the kiss. His stubble scraped against her mouth, raking a raw path of sensation through her. She could do nothing but melt against him, clutching the front of his tunic to stay on her feet. A delicious heat radiated from him. His hands sank low against the small of her back to draw her close as he teased her mouth open. His breath mingled with hers for one anguished second before his tongue slipped past her lips to taste her in a slow, indulgent caress. A sigh of surrender escaped from her lips, a sound she hadn’t imagined she was capable of uttering. His hands slipped from her abruptly and she opened her eyes to see his gaze fixed on her. ‘Well,’ he breathed, ‘you do honour your bets.’ Though he no longer touched her, it was as if the kiss hadn’t ended. He was still so close, filling every sense and thought. She stumbled as she tried to step away and he caught her, a knowing smile playing over his mouth. Her balance was impeccable. She never lost her footing like that, just standing there. His grip tightened briefly before he let her go. Even that tiny, innocent touch filled her with renewed longing. In a daze, she bent to pick up her fallen swords. Her pulse throbbed as if she had run a li without stopping. In her head she was still running, flying fast. ‘Now that our bargain is settled…’ she began hoarsely ‘…we should be going.’ To her horror her hands would not stop shaking. Brushing past him, she gathered up her knapsack and slung it over her shoulder. ‘You said the next town was hours from here?’ He collected his sword while a slow grin spread over his face. She couldn’t look at him without conjuring the feel and the taste of him. Head down, she ploughed through the tall grass. ‘A good match,’ she attempted. He caught up to her easily with his long stride. ‘Yes, quite good,’ he replied, the tone rife with meaning. Her cheeks burned hot as she forced her gaze on the road ahead. She could barely tell day from night, couldn’t give her own name if asked. She had to get home and denounce Li Tao. Warn her father. She had thought of nothing else since her escape, until this blue-eyed barbarian had appeared. It was fortunate they were parting when they reached town. When he wasn’t looking she pressed her fingers over her lips, which were still swollen from that first kiss. She was outmatched, much more outmatched than when they had crossed swords.
Jeannie Lin (Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1))
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. Early evening. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on. She carries herself erectly, despite having spent the day bent over an ironing board in a dingy basement tailor shop at the Montgomery Fair department store. Her feet are swollen, her shoulders ache. She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger. The woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protests of the twentieth century, one word that helps America find its better self. The word is “No.” The driver threatens to have her arrested. “You may do that,” says Rosa Parks. A police officer arrives. He asks Parks why she won’t move. “Why do you all push us around?” she answers simply. “I don’t know,” he says. “But the law is the law, and you’re under arrest.” On the afternoon of her trial and conviction for disorderly conduct, the Montgomery Improvement Association holds a rally for Parks at the Holt Street Baptist Church, in the poorest section of town. Five thousand gather to support Parks’s lonely act of courage. They squeeze inside the church until its pews can hold no more. The rest wait patiently outside, listening through loudspeakers. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd. “There comes a time that people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression,” he tells them. “There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amidst the piercing chill of an Alpine November.” He praises Parks’s bravery and hugs her. She stands silently, her mere presence enough to galvanize the crowd. The association launches a citywide bus boycott that lasts 381 days. The people trudge miles to work. They carpool with strangers. They change the course of American history.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He entered the room…and stopped dead in his tracks. She was sitting in an armchair by the grate, her small bare feet drawn up and to the side, an open book in her lap. Golden shards of firelight played over her vulnerable face as she glanced up at him. She was dressed in a high-necked white nightgown that was a little too big for her, with a blue cashmere lap robe draped over her waist and thighs. After setting the book on the floor, she pulled the lap robe up to her chest. The tension inside Grant rose to an excruciating pitch. She had the face of an angel, and the hair of the Devil’s handmaiden. The freshly washed locks flowed around her in a waist-length curtain, waves and curls of molten red that contained every shade from cinnamon to strawberry-gold. It was the kind of hair that nature usually bestowed on homely women to atone for their lack of physical beauty. But Vivien had a face and form that belonged in a Renaissance painting, except that the reality of her was more delicate and fresh than any painted image could convey. Now that her eyes were no longer swollen, the pure blue intensity of her gaze shone full and direct on him. Her mouth, tender and rose-tinted, was a marvel of nature. Something was wrong with his breathing. His lungs weren’t working properly, his heartbeat was too fast, and he clenched his teeth. If he weren’t a civilized man, if he didn’t pride himself on his renowned self-possession, he would take her here, now, with no regard for the consequences. He wanted her that badly.
Lisa Kleypas (Someone to Watch Over Me)
My siblings and I played in front of the bomb shelter entrance, waiting to be picked up by our grandfather,’ she recalls.38 Then, at 11:02am, the sky turned bright white. My siblings and I were knocked off our feet and violently slammed back into the bomb shelter. We had no idea what had happened. As we sat there shell-shocked and confused, heavily injured burn victims came stumbling into the bomb shelter en masse. Their skin had peeled off their bodies and faces and hung limply down on the ground, in ribbons. Their hair was burnt down to a few measly centimeters from the scalp. Many of the victims collapsed as soon as they reached the bomb shelter entrance, forming a massive pile of contorted bodies. The stench and heat were unbearable. My siblings and I were trapped in there for three days. Finally, my grandfather found us and we made our way back to our home. I will never forget the hellscape that awaited us. Half burnt bodies lay stiff on the ground, eye balls gleaming from their sockets. Cattle lay dead along the side of the road, their abdomens grotesquely large and swollen. Thousands of bodies bobbed up and down the river, bloated and purplish from soaking up the water. ‘Wait! Wait!’ I pleaded, as my grandfather treaded a couple paces ahead of me. I was terrified of being left behind.
Ananyo Bhattacharya (The Man from the Future: The Visionary Life of John von Neumann)
Panting, she pressed closer to him as he unfastened the row of buttons and freed his swollen erection. With a soothing murmur, Ross positioned her over his hips, canting them to just the right angle. She sank down eagerly, gasping as he filled her completely. Her hands clutched at the fabric of his coat, fingertips digging into the smooth broadcloth. "Hold onto me," he whispered. When she had wrapped herself around him, he picked his feet up from the stepping board and let the chamber-horse seat drop several inches in a sudden electrifying jolt. The movement forced Sophia harder onto the hilt of his shaft, and she whimpered in pleasure. Ross smiled as he stared into her wide, unfocused eyes. Color burnished the edges of his cheekbones and the bridge of his nose, and sweat misted his skin. His thighs went taut as he braced his feet on the board once more, then let them drop again. "Is this all right?" he murmured. "Is it too much?" "No," she gulped. "Do it again." Obligingly he began a bouncing motion that elicited a rhythmic squeak from the chamber horse. Air rushed from the contraction and expansion of the cushions like the sighing of fireplace bellows. Sophia held on tightly, her body gripping his intimately. Each drop of the seat caused the stiff, thick shaft to push harder inside her, again, again, until the stroking, grinding motion caused her to convulse in a release that had no end. Feeling the spasms of her body, Ross impaled her one last time and groaned in satisfaction. When at least he leaned backward with her body clasped in his arms, Sophia draped herself over him, utterly relaxed. Their bodies were still joined , and she moaned as he flexed inside her.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
But when he got to his office, after dropping Peter off at camp, Dakota wasn’t there. She’d left early the day before. He checked the machine to see if she’d called in sick, but there wasn’t any message. By ten, he was worried and wondering whom to talk to. Just when he picked up the phone to call Pia, Dakota walked in. She looked like hell. Her face was pale, her eyes red and swollen. There was an air of grief and loss about her, as if something important to her had been taken away from her. He was on his feet the second he saw her. “What happened?” he demanded. She shook her head. “Nothing.” “It’s not nothing. Were you in an accident? Did someone hurt you?” If she’d had a boyfriend, he would assume he’d beaten her or slept with her best friend. But as far as he knew, Dakota wasn’t dating. “I’m fine,” she said, her mouth trembling as she spoke. “You have to believe me.” “Then you need to be more convincing.” She forced a smile that was more ghoulish than happy. “How’s that?” “Frightening.” She sighed. “I’m fine. I know I look bad. I’m not hurt, I’m not sick.” She swallowed. “Everything is how it’s always been.” “Dakota, get real. Something happened.” “No, it didn’t.” Tears filled her eyes. “It didn’t.” The tears spilled down her cheeks. Instinctively, he walked toward her, but she shook her head and backed away. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I can’t do this. I can’t be here today. I need a day or two. Sick days, vacation days, whatever you want.” He felt helpless and confused. “Take whatever time you need. Can I call someone? One of your sisters? Your mom?” “No. No one. I’m fine. I have to go.” With that she grabbed her purse and practically ran out of the office. Raoul stared after her, not sure what he was supposed to do now. Let her go? Follow her? Call a friend? She wasn’t physically hurt—he could figure out that much. So what had happened? Had she heard bad news? But if there’d been a disaster in the family, he would have heard about it. News traveled fast in Fool’s Gold. He would give her time, he decided. If she wasn’t back at work in a couple of days, he would go talk to her. If she wouldn’t talk to him, he would insist she talk to someone else.
Susan Mallery (Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold Book 3))
Both men rubbed their chests and winced, the areas around the impacts were brilliant red and swollen. “That hurt like hell!” This was from Jacobson. “You’re lucky the Lieutenant was just firing paintballs, Private.” Jack was sure Jacobson was understating his case. The Rossman Model MP5 was accurate to over one hundred feet, with a muzzle velocity more than two times that of the recreational Co2 guns available to the general public. They certainly packed a hell of a wallop. The critiquing of the exercise continued for the rest of the day. Many important lessons had been painfully learned or relearned. Measures could now be taken to address the last of the shortcomings of base security, lessons which could and would most certainly be passed on to other base commanders. After all was said and done the exercise was deemed a success. Lieutenant General Roy and Colonel Hart sat back during most of the meeting. The general was again very impressed with Jack and Donny as they critiqued the exercise. The operation had, unfortunately, gone exactly as Jack had presented it to the two of them just two days before. But what impressed Lieutenant General Roy the most was the ease of leadership of both men.
Ronald Fabick (Turbulent Skies: A Jack Coward Novel)
As time passed, I began to sense that the sleepiness I'd felt—sleepiness so fierce it was almost amusing—was gradually, ever so gradually, draining from my body. My feet were swollen, my room got all messy, dark pockets formed under my eyes. I didn't particularly want the money, the work was pointless, and so it was extremely difficult.
Banana Yoshimoto (Asleep)
Each morning, the twins disappeared inside the Duponts’ house and in the evening, they emerged exhausted, feet swollen, Desiree slumping against the bus window during the ride home.
Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half)
today i saw myself for the first time when i dusted off the mirror of my mind and the woman looking back took my breath away who was this beautiful beastling this extra-celestial earthling i touched my face and my reflection touched the woman of my dreams all her gorgeous smirking back at me my knees surrendered to the earth as i wept and sighed at how i’d gone my whole life being myself but not seeing myself spent decades living inside my body never left it once yet managed to miss all its miracles isn’t it funny how you can occupy a space without being in touch with it how it took so long for me to open the eyes of my eyes embrace the heart of my heart kiss the soles of my swollen feet and hear them whisper thank you thank you thank you for noticing
Rupi Kaur (Home Body)
The canyon walls are, for the most part, formidable barriers. The sandstone, limestone, and shale walls are carved either into overhangs or are sheer drops of hundreds of feet or treacherous talus. In most places they are simply impassable. Once down in the canyon, you’re locked in. With plants that are thorny, spiny, hostile. Locked with rattlesnakes—the ubiquitous buzztail, sunning on the rock ledge you’re about to haul yourself up onto. In spite of this, after walking there for days, coming home bug bitten, shins bruised, nose peeling, feet and hands swollen, I feel ablaze with life. I suspect that the canyons give me an intensified sense of living partly because I not only face the basics of living and survival, but carry them on my back. And in my head. And this intense personal responsibility gives me an overwhelming sense of freedom I know nowhere else.
Ann Zwinger (Wind in the Rock: The Canyonlands of Southeastern Utah)
Endometriosis, or painful periods? (Endometriosis is when pieces of the uterine lining grow outside of the uterine cavity, such as on the ovaries or bowel, and cause painful periods.) Mood swings, PMS, depression, or just irritability? Weepiness, sometimes over the most ridiculous things? Mini breakdowns? Anxiety? Migraines or other headaches? Insomnia? Brain fog? A red flush on your face (or a diagnosis of rosacea)? Gallbladder problems (or removal)? — PART E — Poor memory (you walk into a room to do something, then wonder what it was, or draw a blank midsentence)? Emotional fragility, especially compared with how you felt ten years ago? Depression, perhaps with anxiety or lethargy (or, more commonly, dysthymia: low-grade depression that lasts more than two weeks)? Wrinkles (your favorite skin cream no longer works miracles)? Night sweats or hot flashes? Trouble sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night? A leaky or overactive bladder? Bladder infections? Droopy breasts, or breasts lessening in volume? Sun damage more obvious, even glaring, on your chest, face, and shoulders? Achy joints (you feel positively geriatric at times)? Recent injuries, particularly to wrists, shoulders, lower back, or knees? Loss of interest in exercise? Bone loss? Vaginal dryness, irritation, or loss of feeling (as if there were layers of blankets between you and the now-elusive toe-curling orgasm)? Lack of juiciness elsewhere (dry eyes, dry skin, dry clitoris)? Low libido (it’s been dwindling for a while, and now you realize it’s half or less than what it used to be)? Painful sex? — PART F — Excess hair on your face, chest, or arms? Acne? Greasy skin and/or hair? Thinning head hair (which makes you question the justice of it all if you’re also experiencing excess hair growth elsewhere)? Discoloration of your armpits (darker and thicker than your normal skin)? Skin tags, especially on your neck and upper torso? (Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths on the skin surface, usually a few millimeters in size, and smooth. They are usually noncancerous and develop from friction, such as around bra straps. They do not change or grow over time.) Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar? Reactivity and/or irritability, or excessively aggressive or authoritarian episodes (also known as ’roid rage)? Depression? Anxiety? Menstrual cycles occurring more than every thirty-five days? Ovarian cysts? Midcycle pain? Infertility? Or subfertility? Polycystic ovary syndrome? — PART G — Hair loss, including of the outer third of your eyebrows and/or eyelashes? Dry skin? Dry, strawlike hair that tangles easily? Thin, brittle fingernails? Fluid retention or swollen ankles? An additional few pounds, or 20, that you just can’t lose? High cholesterol? Bowel movements less often than once a day, or you feel you don’t completely evacuate? Recurrent headaches? Decreased sweating? Muscle or joint aches or poor muscle tone (you became an old lady overnight)? Tingling in your hands or feet? Cold hands and feet? Cold intolerance? Heat intolerance? A sensitivity to cold (you shiver more easily than others and are always wearing layers)? Slow speech, perhaps with a hoarse or halting voice? A slow heart rate, or bradycardia (fewer than 60 beats per minute, and not because you’re an elite athlete)? Lethargy (you feel like you’re moving through molasses)? Fatigue, particularly in the morning? Slow brain, slow thoughts? Difficulty concentrating? Sluggish reflexes, diminished reaction time, even a bit of apathy? Low sex drive, and you’re not sure why? Depression or moodiness (the world is not as rosy as it used to be)? A prescription for the latest antidepressant but you’re still not feeling like yourself? Heavy periods or other menstrual problems? Infertility or miscarriage? Preterm birth? An enlarged thyroid/goiter? Difficulty swallowing? Enlarged tongue? A family history of thyroid problems?
Sara Gottfried (The Hormone Cure)
Rancorous ivy. On the other side of the wall, at the edge of the river, the sand burned. The river lay afire. Kingfishers fell like spots across the eyes and laughter was yellow. Every Sunday Omensetter strolled by the river with his wife, his daughters, and his dog. They came by wagon, spoke to people who were off to church, and while Furber preached, they sprawled in the gravel and trailed their feet in the water. Lucy Omensetter lay her swollen body on a flat rock. Furber felt the sun lapping at her ears. It was like a rising blush, and his hands trembled when he held them out to make the bars of the cross. May the Lord bless you and keep you . . . He closed his eyes, drifting off. They would see how moved he was, how intense and sincere he was. Cause His light to shine upon you . . . He would find the footprints of the dog and imprint of their bodies. All the days of your life . . . The brazen parade of her infected person. Watchman. Rainbows like rings of oil around her. Watchman. Shouldn’t we be? I spy you, Fatty, behind the tree. He wanted to rub the memory from his eyes. Glittering. Beads of water stood on her skin and drop fled into drop until they broke and ran, the streaks finally fading. Her navel was inside out—sweet spot where Zeus had tied her. She was so white and glistening, so . . . pale, though darker about the eyes, the nipples dark. Open us to evil. He made a slit in his lids. Burn our hearts. Shawls of sunlight spilled over the backs of the pews. Nay-ked-nessss. The droplets gathered at the point of her elbow and hung there, the sac swelling until it fell and spattered on her foot. Nay . . . nay. To enclose her like the water of the creek had closed her. Nay . . . Proper body for a lover. Joy to be a stone. Please, the peep-watch is over. Please hurry now. Hurry. Get out of my church.
William H. Gass (Omensetter's Luck)
tape already marked the area around the body. A first responding officer jumped to his feet, holding the scene log on a clipboard. “Good morning, sir.” The young man spoke in the nasal voice of someone whose nose is blocked. Lei spotted white cotton sprouting from his nostrils. “Hey. Nice up here if it weren’t for the smell.” She took the clipboard, and each of them signed in. Passing the tape, Lei spotted the hand first, extended toward them from beneath the ferns, palm up. The tissue was swollen and discolored, masked in a filmy gray gauze of mold that seemed to be drawing the body down into the forest floor. Lei could imagine that in just a few weeks, the body would have been all but gone in the biology of the cloud forest. The victim lay on his stomach, his head turned away and facing into a fern clump, black hair already looking like just another lichen growing on the forest floor. The body was at the expansion phase, distending camouflage-patterned clothing as if inflated. A black fiberglass arrow fletched in plastic protruded from the man’s back. Lei and Pono stayed well back from the body. Lei unpacked the police department’s camera from her backpack, and Pono took out his crime kit. The modest quarter-karat engagement
Toby Neal (Shattered Palms (Lei Crime, #6))
They grew some of their own vegetables, but Semple was never in eighteen years allowed out into the truck gardens. Instead, he watched out the north window of the violent ward through the thick cyclone mesh and felt himself out there, going down the rows of corn, cutting suckers or tugging up the dark-leafed weeds, feeling the strain low in his back and hearing the dry rustle of stalks in the July wind; the sun reddening his neck and rills of sweat cutting lines through the dust on his cheeks; bent over, his hands green stained and sore, blistered and cut from the weeds and the sharp-edged corn plant leaves; feet hot and swollen in state-issue shoes cracked and dirty; but smelling it, the corn, the dirt, the hand-mashed weeds, the sticky white milk gumming and clotting his fingers; the smell on cloudy days when everything was heavy with the expectancy of rain and sullen with the summer heat, the smell denser then, making him straighten up, his nose high, waiting for it, for something, a man in silhouette against the background of corn, like all the other men in cornfields and gardens and on farms, even the men in cities between the buildings on crowded streets lifting their noses to the heavy clouds and feeling the expectancy of the rain, waiting for the first thick drops to sound against the corn, to strike his face. And then the gallop home through sheets of rain, ducking into doorways, newspapers over heads, laughter coming up out of the heart at this common happening, and men together, in doorways, cafeterias, kitchens, barns, tractor sheds, or even in the lee of haystacks, looking at each other happily with wet red faces because it was raining hard. Loving it and feeling joy from such a thing. He stood at the window and made it happen, even under a blue sky. And would, early in his eighteen years, turn front eh window expressing how he felt in snapping wild-eyed growls and grunts, his hands jerking out of control and his legs falling out from under him, thrashing between the beds, bumping along the floors, his contorted face frightening the other madmen into shrieks and fits and dribbles; happy, so happy inside that it all burst in one white hot uncontrollable surge; the two white-coated attendants coming with their stockings full of powdered soap rolled into fists to club him without marking him, knocking him into enough submission that they could drag him twitching still across the open floor and out to the restraining sheets.
Don Carpenter (Blade Of Light)
They grew some of their own vegetables, but Semple was never in eighteen years allowed out into the truck gardens. Instead, he watched out the north window of the violent ward through the thick cyclone mesh and felt himself out there, going down the rows of corn, cutting suckers or tugging up the dark-leafed weeds, feeling the strain low in his back and hearing the dry rustle of stalks in the July wind; the sun reddening his neck and rills of sweat cutting lines through the dust on his cheeks; bent over, his hands green stained and sore, blistered and cut from the weeds and the sharp-edged corn plant leaves; feet hot and swollen in state-issue shoes cracked and dirty; but smelling it, the corn, the dirt, the hand-mashed weeds, the sticky white milk gumming and clotting his fingers; the smell on cloudy days when everything was heavy with the expectancy of rain and sullen with the summer heat, the smell denser then, making him straighten up, his nose high, waiting for it, for something, a man in silhouette against the background of corn, like all the other men in cornfields and gardens and on farms, even the men in cities between the buildings on crowded streets lifting their noses to the heavy clouds and feeling the expectancy of the rain, waiting for the first thick drops to sound against the corn, to strike his face. And then the gallop home through sheets of rain, ducking into doorways, newspapers over heads, laughter coming up out of the heart at this common happening, and men together, in doorways, cafeterias, kitchens, barns, tractor sheds, or even in the lee of haystacks, looking at each other happily with wet red faces because it was raining hard. Loving it and feeling joy from such a thing. He stood at the window and made it happen, even under a blue sky. And would, early in his eighteen years, turn from the window expressing how he felt in snapping wild-eyed growls and grunts, his hands jerking out of control and his legs falling out from under him, thrashing between the beds, bumping along the floors, his contorted face frightening the other madmen into shrieks and fits and dribbles; happy, so happy inside that it all burst in one white hot uncontrollable surge; the two white-coated attendants coming with their stockings full of powdered soap rolled into fists to club him without marking him, knocking him into enough submission that they could drag him twitching still across the open floor and out to the restraining sheets.
Don Carpenter (Blade Of Light)
I flopped down on my air mattress, and here I lie. I can actually feel my heartbeat throb in my aching, swollen feet. I’m cross-eyed and drooling on my pillow. I try to write, but coherent sentences do not come easily. I can barely think, yet I find I cannot stop smiling. I can already tell I’m going to like this PCT thing.
Erin Miller (Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail)
At that meeting I learned that my mother had stepped upon a rusty nail which had passed through her foot. She had tried every remedy, but nothing removed the inflammation, or relieved the pain. We went immediately to Gorham, and found her foot dreadfully swollen. The neighbors had proposed every remedy they could think of, but they accomplished nothing. Mother was threatened with lockjaw.   {262} The next morning we united in prayer for her. I believed that God would restore her to perfect soundness. She was unable to kneel. With a deep sense of my unworthiness, I knelt at my mother’s feet and besought the Lord to touch her with his healing power. We all believed that the Lord heard prayer. With the Spirit of the Lord resting upon me, I bid her in the name of the Lord rise up and walk. His power was in the room, and shouts of praise went up to God. Mother arose and walked the room, declaring that the work was done, that the soreness was gone, and that she was entirely relieved from pain. That day she rode thirty-eight miles to Topsham to attend a conference there, and had no more trouble with her foot. 
James White (Collected Writings of James White, Vol. 2 of 2: Words of the Pioneer Adventists)
For 40 years you provided them with food in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their garments did not wear out, and their feet did not become swollen.
Anonymous
We ran on paths that would narrow to trails and on trails that would narrow to almost nothing. We were running where deer bounded, where coyotes rambled. We ran through calf-deep snow and streams swollen with spring melt so cold that after a while I couldn’t feel my feet. Somewhere between my agonized, gasping high school forays to Adolph Store and now, running had turned into something other than training. It had turned into a kind of meditation, a place where I could let my mind—usually occupied with school, thoughts of the future, or concerns about my mom—float free. My body was doing by itself what I had always struggled to make it do. I wasn’t stuck on my dead-end street. No bully was spitting in my face. I felt as if I was flying.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
But then his tongue moved over me and started to lick the whipped cream over my sex, making my legs fall open, swiping the creamy coolness down and over my cleft, making a long, ragged moan escape me, dragging a rumbling sound from his chest that made another rush of wet pool as his mouth closed over my clit and sucked hard. Then he devoured me, drove me up fast and unrelenting until the orgasm started to crest, seeming to start at the base of my spine and exploding outward until it took over whole body, making me cry out his name as he took possession of my clit and sucked it in pulses as the waves washed over me, dragging it out, intensifying everything. As soon as the waves lessened, he released me and licked a line back upward, taking the whipped cream off my breasts then pressing up to balance over me, wicked look in his eyes. "Tell me." "Tell you what?" I asked, brain nothing but sparking misfirings right then. He smiled at that, either delighted with his prowess or glad to torture me more. Or, more likely, both. I grabbed the can of whipped cream as I moved to straddle him, watching as his eyes went knowing just a second before I started making a line down his stomach with the cream, then down the little happy trail, over his balls, and then up the underside of his cock until there was a large amount on the swollen head. Then I tossed the can to the side and gave him a smile before ducking my head and starting my path down, deciding that while foreplay was always good, it was infinitely better with food involved as my tongue licked the cream off his balls then his shaft before closing my lips around the head and licking it off from there as well, making Brant let out a deep, primal groan that spurred me on, made me work him faster, deeper. "Maddy..." he warned, but I didn't need a warning. I wanted to make him come. I wanted to give him the selfless orgasm he gave me. "Fuck," he growled, his hand crushing into the back of my head as he came down my throat. I worked him for a long moment before letting him slide away, looking up at him to find an intense weight in his gaze. "From now on, we only ever eat dessert off of each other," he said a second later, his hand going under my chin and pulling me until I moved to straddle him, bringing my face close to his. "I can get behind that plan," I agreed with a smile before he yanked me forward and our lips crashed together. It wasn't a slow, sweet, post-orgasm kiss. It was still wild, hungry, primal. It said we weren't done. "Come on," he said when he pulled away, a little out of breath. "Let's go take a shower. That was hot as fuck but we're both sticky now." Thank God. I didn't want to complain, but every time I moved, my skin got stuck to his skin and it was weird and decidedly unsexy. I went to move off him, but his arms went to slip around my lower back, holding me to him as he stood and started walking around the house. Then up the stairs. I was generally not the kind of girl who got carried around. I was fit, sure, but I was tall and leggy and most guys wanted to carry around the short, lithe little women. But since Brant was a huge wall of muscle, he didn't seem bothered by my height and less than dainty limbs. He set me on my feet outside the shower and reached in to put the water on, water I knew would take a couple of minutes to warm up. But he stepped in regardless, cursing at the cold spray. "Yeah, I think not," I said when he looked at me expectantly. I should have known to step away. I really should have. But I didn't and the next thing I knew, he was yanking me in with him, making me let out a string of incredibly unladylike curses before I felt the water get warmer against my back.
Jessica Gadziala
I’ll have another.” He pushed the bowl toward her. “You’ll eat pretzels. They’re good for soaking up alcohol.” “What about ‘the customer’s always right’?” she huffed and crossed her arms. Was she being ridiculous? Maybe, but who was he to make decisions for her? She’d had enough overbearing men to last her a lifetime. From now on, she called the shots. And if she wanted more drinks, then by God, she’d get them. Maddie looked past him, her vision skipping around the bar. A blond, surfer-looking guy sat in a corner booth with papers scattered over the table’s surface, perusing them with obvious interest. She pointed to him. “Maybe I need to tell your boss you’re refusing to serve me.” A deep, amused rumble. “You can’t get higher than me, Princess. I own the place.” Deflated, her shoulders slumped. “Oh. Well, never mind.” He pushed the bowl again until it was right under her nose. “Eat some pretzels and drink some water while you tell me what kind of trouble you’re in.” With her spine snapping ruler-straight, she asked, “What makes you think I’m in trouble?” He gave her a slow, meaningful once-over. “Do I look stupid to you?” No, he didn’t. All the more reason to stay away. If she could walk, she’d leave, but for now she was at his mercy. Between the buzz in her head and her swollen, aching feet, she might never move from this stool again and be forced to deal with his bossiness forever. “I had car trouble. I broke down on Highway 60 a couple of miles back.” His lips curved down and his golden eyes flashed. “You walked?” “What was I supposed to do?” “It’s the twenty-first century. Where’s your cell?” He scowled as though she’d done something wrong. How could she know she’d need one? She held up her tiny purse. “It didn’t fit.” His gaze flicked over her. “What’s with the dress?” Not wanting to say it out loud, she toyed with a piece of the fabric and said, “What, this old thing?” “Cute.” His jaw hardened into a stubborn line. “So?” Denial was pointless. The dress fell from her fingers. “I ran out on my wedding.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. Early evening. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on. She carries herself erectly, despite having spent the day bent over an ironing board in a dingy basement tailor shop at the Montgomery Fair department store. Her feet are swollen, her shoulders ache. She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
You’re trying to explain the teeth, right?”  I sounded pathetic, like a child who needed reassurance.  I tried not to fidget on top of that. He gave me the reassurance I needed in one of his rare nods. Okay.  No kissing.  Just him moving closer.  He slept at the foot of my bed every night.  That was pretty close—right on my feet—and no big deal.  But he had fur on when he did that.  Now he looked... I eyed him again.  My stomach did a funny flip.  Maybe my fear wasn’t about his reaction, but mine.  I was afraid I’d forget myself.  I needed his control.  I took a deep breath. “It’s okay then.  Go ahead, explain.  I’ll behave,” I promised quietly.  I saw his mustache twitch with a quick smile.  The canines explained some of the facial hair, but the full-bearded, crazy-man look seemed overkill. After a slight hesitation, he leaned forward again while keeping his hands loose at his sides.  I pushed back the fear and held still.  He didn’t stop his slow approach until his whiskers tickled the side of my neck and collarbone.  There he paused and inhaled deeply. As soon as he inhaled, I knew what he was doing, and although I didn’t move, fear blossomed.  Heart pounding, eyes wide, I waited for him to finish scenting me as a werewolf would a potential Mate, not a distant inhale, but an up-close sample of my scent, infinitely more potent.  His warm exhale sent goose bumps skittering over my arms.  I braced myself, anticipating some type of slip in his highly-praised control.  He leisurely inhaled once more then lifted his head, exhaling as he went. With his face only inches from mine, he opened his mouth to display his teeth again.  The canines had grown even more pronounced, the surrounding gums swollen from their thickness. I didn’t know what to say.  He had canines when in his human form because of me. “So, when you’re around me, they’re worse?  I guess that means they’re like that all the time.” He shrugged and casually took a step back.  I was unsure what the shrug meant. We
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
COLD DEFINITION: a sudden or ongoing exposure to uncomfortably low temperatures PHYSICAL SIGNALS: Shivering Blue lips Yawning Eyes that tear up Chattering teeth Tingling extremities Stuttering speech Skin that’s uncomfortably cold to the touch Dry, cracked lips A stiff jaw that makes speech difficult Numbness in one’s extremities A burning sensation in the skin Clumsiness Slow, shallow breaths Lips that tremble Poor dexterity or increased clumsiness Wrapping the arms around the torso Jumping, shuffling, or dancing to get the blood flowing Clapping one’s hands or stamping one’s feet Shoving the hands deep into the pockets Red and swollen patches on the skin (chilblains) Pulling the limbs tightly into the core Slurred speech Rubbing one’s hands together Tucking one’s hands into one’s armpits Pulling a collar or scarf up over the face Huddling inside a jacket Rounded shoulders, the chin dropped down to the chest Cringing and squeezing one’s eyes shut Turning one’s back to the wind or source of cold Pulling down one’s sleeves to cover the hands Curling and uncurling one’s toes to get the blood flowing Rubbing one’s legs; using friction to create warmth Quivering breaths Slapping oneself Shaking out the arms and legs Flexing the fingers Taking deep breaths in an effort to wake up Curling into a ball; making oneself small Sharing body heat with others Blowing into cupped hands to warm them INTERNAL SENSATIONS: Low energy Fatigue or drowsiness The feeling of even one’s insides being cold A weakened pulse Nausea Loss of appetite A burning sensation in the lungs when inhaling A voice that loses strength MENTAL RESPONSES: Confusion Muddled thinking Impaired decision-making A desire to sleep Apathy CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG-TERM COLD EXPOSURE: Frostbite Hypothermia Gangrene Limb amputation Coma Heart failure Death WRITER’S TIP: Emotional attitude makes a difference when dealing with the cold. A person who can maintain mental acuity and focus will withstand the elements much better than someone whose mental condition is compromised by negativity. Return to the Table of Contents
Angela Ackerman (Emotion Amplifiers)
Squatting in the coppery mud of the drainage ditch behind my cousin’s house, we searched for fish, saw none. We found a speckled frog instead, unspooling a long, gelatinous thread of black eggs in the water. Then fire ants— my feet a blaze of pain, a fumbling dance, and fact and memory begin to stutter. What happened next? What curses did I utter? And how did I ever get back over the fence? I remember having a kind of reverence for the whole affair: the pity I got, each bite growing large and lustrous as a pearl, my tight and swollen toes. I must have liked the pain. What else would make me prod again, again? A whole week hobbling barefoot on the lawn, and still I missed the welts when they were gone.
Chelsea Rathburn
but it was a peace with swollen feet and a limp in its gait.
Chigozie Obioma (The Fishermen)
A good cook almost never misses a shift. He takes ownership of his work; he takes pride in it. He understands how important he is to the team and he will avoid disappointing his coworkers at all costs. Regardless of runny noses or tummy trouble, regardless of stiff necks or swollen feet, regardless of headaches or toothaches or backaches, regardless of how little sleep he got the night before or what fresh hell his hangover is when he wakes up, a good cook will always show up for work in the morning.
Michael Gibney (Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line)
doors and tunnels throughout the city. Today, most had been bricked over or locked, but Don had once mentioned that their neighbor, who had lived next door longer than they had, had paid them to store a few extra things he couldn’t fit at his place. They kept the door accessible should he ever need to get in and out to retrieve something. Sean could see that the old rusted door handle was unlatched, and the door itself was pulled back on its disintegrating hinges. He made his way over to investigate. It was hard to see into the next room. He walked inside. The neighbor’s basement was just as dark as Don’s. Sean took out his phone and turned on the flashlight. The small space was full of storage boxes, old clothes, piles of books and newspapers, and a single green kayak propped diagonally across it all. He shined the light in a sweeping pattern but couldn’t see a place where she could be hiding. “Joyce, please. I need your help.” There was a noise from behind him, coming from the other room. Sean scurried back in time to see Joyce leaping from behind the washing machine. His flashlight caught her face, and he saw it was bloodied and swollen from when he’d punched her. She scurried up the stairs, her feet thumping on each wooden step until she reached the kitchen. “Joyce!” “Somebody help me!” “Joyce! Get back here!
Matthew Farrell (What Have You Done)
Dental Care for Children: How to Take Care of Your Kid’s Pearly Whites? Taking care of your children’s teeth can be a real challenge. They don’t let you brush their teeth because they want to do everything by themselves. As a parent you have to get creative and help them develop a good oral hygiene. You might be wondering right now, if children lose all their baby teeth, why take care? One out of every 10 two-years old toddlers have tooth decay. By the time they reach five years, 50 percent children have decayed tooth. Dental care changes as your child grows from an infant to pre-teen. Here’s how you can take care of your kid’s pearly whites as they change and grow: Taking care of your infant’s oral cavity Infant oral care changes from when they don’t have teeth to when they do. Here are some tips that will come handy while taking care of your baby’s gums and teeth: 1. Clean the gums daily Wet a clean cloth with some lukewarm water and clean your infant’s gums with it after every meal. Babies tend to store milk in their cheeks, which leads to early tooth decay. Don’t force and open their mouths if they don’t want to. 2. Stop your baby immediately from putting anything in their mouths Children chew on their hands, feet, and toys when they start teething to ease out the pain. We all know that all these things are covered in germs and can cause gum infections, stomach bug, and allergies. Keep a close eye on your baby and disinfect their toys by boiling them in hot water every night. If you are putting the baby down for a nap or for some alone time, clean their hands and feet with wipes, so there are no germs on them. 3. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride-free paste Once your baby starts teething, start using a soft-bristled toothpaste to clean out leftover food. Baby food and breastmilk are rich in carbohydrates and bacteria loves them.4. Nurse swollen gums using frozen fruit pops
Parenting Help, Parenting Kids/
The rains cooled the heat of their bodies, finally penetrated the wild desire and hot hunger that had shielded them from its onslaught. Very gently Jacques lowered her feet to the ground, retaining possession of her waist to help her trembling legs hold her up. Shea raised a hand to push back her rain-slick hair. He caught her fingers and raised her palm to his mouth. “You are the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.” She smiled, shook her head at him. “You’re crazy, you know that? This is one of the most magnificent lightning storms I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t even notice until now.” He grinned at her suggestively, rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Says something.” “Exactly,” she agreed. “You’re crazy, and I must be, too.” His hands cupped her bottom, drew her close against his hard frame, his face buried in the hollow of her shoulder as he savored the moment. He would never forget how he felt, how she looked, so wild and beautiful in the storm, and her complete acceptance of him with his shattered mind and leashed demons. “This will never go away, Shea, what we feel for one another. It never goes away. It gets stronger with each century. You never have to worry about losing this intensity.” He felt her smile against his bare skin, the small kiss she pressed into his chest. “I might not survive. I’m not sure I can stand up on my own.” “I can help you with that.” There was a teasing, insinuating note in his voice, and she felt him press her closer, felt him thicken and harden against her stomach. “You really are crazy. I hate to be a wet blanket, but it’s raining all over us.” She was laughing as she protested, her body moving subtly against his, unable to believe they could possibly do more than cling to one another after such a wild encounter. He turned her so that she was against the tree, his large frame shielding her from the driving rain. Jacques’ palms cupped her face, and he bent his head to hers, his mouth tender, loving, as he kissed her slightly swollen mouth. “I will never get enough of you, not if we live centuries.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
She was upside-down, clinging to a horizontal stem of wild rose by her feet which pointed to heaven. Her head was deep in dried grass. Her abdomen was swollen like a smashed finger; it tapered to a fleshy tip out of which bubbled a wet, whipped froth. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I lay on the hill this way and that, my knees in thorns and my cheeks in clay, trying to see as well as I could. I poked near the female’s head with a grass; she was clearly undisturbed, so I settled my nose an inch from that pulsing abdomen. It puffed like a concertina, it throbbed like a bellows; it roved, pumping, over the glistening, clabbered surface of the egg case testing and patting, thrusting and smoothing. It seemed to act so independently that I forgot the panting brown stick at the other end. The bubble creature seemed to have two eyes, a frantic little brain, and two busy, soft hands. It looked like a hideous, harried mother slicking up a fat daughter for a beauty pageant, touching her up, slobbering over her, patting and hemming and brushing and stroking.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Two Hispanic boys with swollen chests and enormous sunglasses walked by. One of them whistled at Nate, and then once they were several feet past us, the other turned around and cried, “Love your work!” Nate stared after them with what I assumed was anger. “My sponsor has me on this whole celebrity thing right now,” he said in a low voice, and I realized his anger was actually desire. The fact that anger felt like desire to Nate might have played a role in his little meth problem.
Christopher Rice (Light Before Day)
His eyes were holes I fell in. I dodged his shadow lest it cover me, and felt a fool. He’s not so old, sixty perhaps; but his eyes run, his ears ring, his teeth rot. His nose clogs. His lips pale and bleed. His knees, his hips, his neck and arms, are stiff. His feet are sore, the ankles swollen. His back, head and legs ache. His throat is raw, his chest constricted, and all his inner organs—heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and bowels—are weak. Hands shake. His hair is falling. His flesh lies slack. His cock I vision shriveled to a string, and each breath of life he draws dies as it enters his nose and crosses his tongue.
William H. Gass (In the Heart of the Heart of the Country (NYRB Classics))
Not Your Stereotypical Southern Belle By Betsy Shearon, George Grits I grew up being more interested in scoring touchdowns than wearing tiaras. I never particularly wanted to get married and was well into my thirties before I even got engaged. And although I am a devoted aunt, the call of motherhood for me has always sounded strangely similar to the “Warning Will Robinson!” cry on the old Lost in Space television show. Still, I consider myself a true Southern Girl, simply because, as we say in the South, my mama done raised me right. I say, “yes, ma’am,” “no, sir,” “please” and “thank you.” I am respectful of my elders, even my great-aunt Ida Mable, whose food we were never allowed to eat at family reunions. (Suffice it to say that eccentricity not only runs in my family, it pretty much gallops.) I always wear clean underwear in case I am in an accident. And I always leave the house clean before I go on a trip in case I get killed and strangers have to come into my house to get my funeral wear (this is despite the fact that I have yet to read an obituary that said, “she left a husband, two children, and an immaculate house.”) And I know things that only Southern girls know, such as the fact that it is possible to “never talk to strangers and at the same time greet everyone you meet with a smile and a hello. I know that it is possible to “always tell the truth,” but to always answer “fine” when someone asks how you are--even if your hair is on fire at the time. It is this knowledge that allows us to turn the other cheek when people say ugly things like “Southern girls are stupid, barefoot and pregnant.” Southern girls realize that, given the swollen feet and ankles that accompany pregnancy, going barefoot when possible is actually a very smart and sensible thing to do--and that the Yankees who say things like that probably wouldn’t talk so ugly if their feet didn’t hurt, bless their hearts.
Deborah Ford (Grits (Girls Raised in the South) Guide to Life)
Water has invaded my father’s heart, swollen, heavy, twice as large. Bloated liver. Bloated legs. The feet have become balloons. A respirator mask makes him look like a diver. When I lay my face against his—the sound of water returning. The
Li-Young Lee (Rose (New Poets of America))
His hands cradled her head as he kissed her again, openmouthed and deep, as if he were trying to draw the soul from her body. Beatrix answered eagerly, holding him with her arms and legs. But then he let go with a hoarse exclamation, and moved away. “No,” she heard herself moan. “Please--” His fingers came to her lips, gently stroking her into silence. They lay side by side, facing each other, struggling to regain their breath. “My God, I want you.” Christopher sounded far from pleased by the fact. His thumb swpt over her kiss-swollen lips. “Even though I annoy you?” “You don’t annoy me.” Carefully he rebuttoned the placket of her skirt. “I thought you did, at first. But now I realize it was more like the feeling you get when your foot’s been asleep. And when you start moving, the blood coming back into it is uncomfortable…but also good. Do you understand what I mean?” “Yes. I make your feet tingle.” A smile came to his lips. “Among other things.” They continued to lie together, staring at each other.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
If the Prophets, peace be upon him, thanked Allah for what He had bestowed on them and given to them, that was not from the command of Allah. They undertook that freely from themselves, as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood thanking Allah until his feet were swollen, when Allah had forgiven Him his wrong actions, past and present. When people commented what he did, he said, "Am I not a thankful slave?" Allah said that Nuh was a thankful slave. (4) So the thankful among the slaves are few.
Ibn Arabi (The Bezels of Wisdom)
when my mother was pregnant with her second child i was four i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how my mother had gotten so big in such little time my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and said the closest thing to god on this earth is a woman’s body it’s where life comes from and to have a grown man tell me something so powerful at such a young age changed me to see the entire universe rested at my mother’s feet
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Usually, Marilyn Norton loved the hot weather, but she was having a tough time with it, nine months pregnant, with her due date in two days. She was expecting her second child, another boy, and he was going to be a big one. She could hardly move in the heat, and her ankles and feet were so swollen that all she had been able to get her feet into were rubber flip-flops. She was wearing huge white shorts that were too tight on her now, and a white T-shirt of her husband’s that outlined her belly. She had nothing left to wear that still fit, but the baby would arrive soon. She was just glad that she had made it to the first day of school with Billy. He had been nervous about his new school, and she wanted to be there with him.
Danielle Steel (Friends Forever)
My God, I want you." Christopher sounded far from pleased by the fact. His thumb swept over her kiss-swollen lips. "Even though I annoy you?" "You don't annoy me." Carefully he rebuttoned the placket of her shirt. "I thought you did, at first. But now I realize it was more like the feeling you get when your foot's been asleep. And when you start moving, the blood coming back into it is uncomfortable... but also good. Do you understand what I mean?" "Yes. I make your feet tingle." A smile came to his lips. "Among other things.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Tompkins Square Park. The Park is crowded. This is not 14th street, this is the community. There is a music phenomenon coming out of hundreds of transistor radios. There is a mamba phenomenon. There is a dog phenomenon- there are dogs in the dog run taking craps, dogs on the leash, dogs roaming free in packs. Men and girls playing handball in the fenced-in handball courts. The girls are good. They shout in Spanish. Dogs jump for the ball in the handball courts. In the benches of the park sit old Ukrainian ladies with babushkas. The old ladies have small yapping dogs on leashes. Old men play chess at tables. The old dogs of the men lie under the stone tables with their tongues hanging. On the big dirt hill in the centre of the park, a kid and a dog roll over each other. A burned-out head drifts by, barefoot with his feet red and swollen. A dog growls at him. Down the path from the old ladies in babushkas sits one blond-haired girl on the pipe fence. Four black guys surround her. One talks to her earnestly. She stares straight ahead. Her radio plays Aretha. Her dog sleeps at the end of its leash. Benches are turned over, a group of hippies huddles around the guitar, dogs streak back and forth under the bandshell with the zigzag propulsion of pinballs. Two cop cars are parked on 10th street. Mambo, mambo. A thousand radios play rock.
E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime)
I was very close to the age where I would have been sent to train, but was saved from that fate when we were forced out of Pinyudo, all forty thousand of us, by the Ethiopian forces that overthrew President Mengistu. ... The area near the river was marshy and the group was soaked, wading through the heavy water. The river, when we arrived, was high and moving quickly. Trees and debris flew with the current. The first shots seemed small and distant. I turned to follow the sound. I saw nothing, but the gunfire continued and grew louder. The attackers were nearby. The sounds multiplied, and I heard the first screams. A woman up the river spat a stream of blood from her mouth before falling, lifeless, into the water. She had been shot by an unseen assailant, and the current soon took “her toward my group. Now the panic began. Tens of thousands of us splashed through the shallows of the river, too many unable to swim. To stay on the bank meant certain death, but to jump into that river, swollen and rushing, was madness. “The Ethiopians were attacking, their Eritrean cohorts with them, the Anyuak doing their part. They wanted us out of their country, they were avenging a thousand crimes and slights. I paddled and kicked. I looked again for the spot on the riverbank where I had last seen the crocodiles. They were gone. —The crocodiles! —Yes. We must swim fast. Come. There are so many of us. We’re at a mathematical advantage. Swim, Achak, just keep paddling. A scream came from very close. I turned to see a boy in the jaws of a crocodile. The river bloomed red and the boy’s face disappeared. —Keep going. Now he’s too busy to eat you. We were halfway across the river now, and my ears heard the hiss under the water and the bullets and mortars cracking the air. Each time my ears fell below the surface, a hiss overtook my head, and it felt like the sound of the crocodiles coming for me. I tried to keep my ears above the surface, but when my head was too high, I pictured a bullet entering the back of my skull. ... I pushed my face into the dirt, but secretly I watched the slaughter below. Thousands of boys and men and women and babies were crossing the river, and soldiers were killing them randomly and sometimes with great care. There were a few SPLA troops fighting from our side of the river, but for the most part they had already escaped, leaving the Sudanese civilians alone and unprotected. The Ethiopians, then, had their choice of targets, most of them unarmed. “they chased the Sudanese from their land with machetes and the few rifles they possessed. They hacked and shot those running to the river, and they shot those flailing across the water. Shells exploded, sending plumes of white twenty feet into the air. Women dropped babies in the river. Boys who could not swim simply drowned... Some of the dead were then eaten by crocodiles. The river ran in many colors that day, green and white, black and brown and red. “—Come here!" a woman said. I looked to find the source of the voice, and turned to see an Ethiopian woman in a soldier’s uniform. —Come here and I will help you find Pochalla! she said. The other boys began walking toward her. —No! I said. —See how she’s dressed! —Don’t fear me, she said. I am just a woman! I am a mother trying to help you boys. Come to me, children! I am your mother! Come to me! The unknown boys ran toward her. Achor stayed with me. When they were twenty feet from her, the woman turned, lifted a gun from the grass, and with her eyes full of white, she shot the taller boy through the heart. I could see the bullet leaving his back. His body kneeled and then fell on its side, his head landing before his shoulder. “Run! he said, grabbing my shirt from behind. We ran from her, diving into the grass and then crawling and hurtling away fom the woman, who was still shouting at us. "Come back!" she said. "I am your mother, come back, my children!
Dave Eggers (What Is the What)