Ten Folds Quotes

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If I only have ten minutes, Sam, this is what I want to say. You're not the best of us. You're more than that. You're better than all of us. If I only have ten minutes, I would tell you to go out there and live. I'd say...please take your guitar and sing your songs to as many people as you can. Please fold a thousand more of those damn birds of yours. Please kiss that girl a million times.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
What the hell do I have to do to get your attention? Do I need to get up there?” I throw an arm toward the stage. His eyes swell for just a second, in shock. He reaches forward to hold my hands, but he catches himself in time and instead folds them across his chest. “Believe me, you have my full attention.
K.A. Tucker (Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1))
When the sun shall be folded up; and when the stars shall fall; and when the mountains shall be made to pass away; and when the camels ten months gone with young shall be neglected; and when the seas shall boil; and when the souls shall be joined again to their bodies; and when the girl who hath been buried alive shall be asked for what crime she was put to death; and when the books shall be laid open; and when the heavens shall be removed; and when hell shall burn fiercely; and when paradise shall be brought near: every soul shall know what it hath wrought.
Anonymous (القرآن الكريم)
I’ve learned that to love means giving everything, body and soul, and expecting nothing in return. The beautiful thing is that if you’re loved in return, it will all come back to you ten-fold.
Kim Holden (All of It)
Your personal history of pain, by the time you reached the age of forty, was supposedto have been folded thoroughly into the batter of the self, so that you barely needed to acknowledge it anymore.
Meg Wolitzer (The Ten-Year Nap)
If her talent had been ten-fold greater than it was, it would not have surprised him, convinced as he was that he had bequeathed to all of his daughters the germs of a masterful capability, which only depended upon their own efforts to be directed toward successful achievement.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
The novelist’s happy discovery was to think of substituting for those opaque sections, impenetrable by the human spirit, their equivalent in immaterial sections, things, that is, which the spirit can assimilate to itself. After which it matters not that the actions, the feelings of this new order of creatures appear to us in the guise of truth, since we have made them our own, since it is in ourselves that they are happening, that they are holding in thrall, while we turn over, feverishly, the pages of the book, our quickened breath and staring eyes. And once the novelist has brought us to that state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes to disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid, and of a more lasting impression than those which come to us in sleep; why, then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world, a few of which, only, we should have to spend years of our actual life in getting to know, and the keenest, the most intense of which would never have been revealed to us because the slow course of their development stops our perception of them.
Marcel Proust (Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1))
The time spent building a solid foundation will pay for itself ten-fold.
Darren Varndell (SEO SoS: Search Engine Optimization First Aid Guide (EZ Website Promotion))
Outside of muttering his way through Sunday service, Aaron had not voiced a conscious prayer in more than ten years. He supposed it wouldn’t help his chances in the hereafter if he returned to the fold with Saints preserve me from premature ejaculation. No matter how sincerely uttered.
Tessa Dare (Beauty and the Blacksmith (Spindle Cove, #3.5))
Eddie saw great things and near misses. Albert Einstein as a child, not quite struck by a run-away milk-wagon as he crossed a street. A teenage boy named Albert Schweitzer getting out of a bathtub and not quite stepping on the cake of soap lying beside the pulled plug. A Nazi Oberleutnant burning a piece of paper with the date and place of the D-Day Invasion written on it. He saw a man who intended to poison the entire water supply of Denver die of a heart attack in a roadside rest-stop on I-80 in Iowa with a bag of McDonald’s French fries on his lap. He saw a terrorist wired up with explosives suddenly turn away from a crowded restaurant in a city that might have been Jerusalem. The terrorist had been transfixed by nothing more than the sky, and the thought that it arced above the just and unjust alike. He saw four men rescue a little boy from a monster whose entire head seemed to consist of a single eye. But more important than any of these was the vast, accretive weight of small things, from planes which hadn’t crashed to men and women who had come to the correct place at the perfect time and thus founded generations. He saw kisses exchanged in doorways and wallets returned and men who had come to a splitting of the way and chosen the right fork. He saw a thousand random meetings that weren’t random, ten thousand right decisions, a hundred thousand right answers, a million acts of unacknowledged kindness. He saw the old people of River Crossing and Roland kneeling in the dust for Aunt Talitha’s blessing; again heard her giving it freely and gladly. Heard her telling him to lay the cross she had given him at the foot of the Dark Tower and speak the name of Talitha Unwin at the far end of the earth. He saw the Tower itself in the burning folds of the rose and for a moment understood its purpose: how it distributed its lines of force to all the worlds that were and held them steady in time’s great helix. For every brick that landed on the ground instead of some little kid’s head, for every tornado that missed the trailer park, for every missile that didn’t fly, for every hand stayed from violence, there was the Tower. And the quiet, singing voice of the rose. The song that promised all might be well, all might be well, that all manner of things might be well.
Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5))
We’re going bowling tomorrow. Can’t you wait until then?” “I went from being with you every second of the day to seeing you for ten minutes if I’m lucky.” I smiled and shook my head. “It’s only been two days, Trav.” “I miss you. Get your ass on the seat and let’s go.” I couldn’t argue. I missed him, too. More than I would ever admit to him. I zipped up my jacket and climbed on behind him, slipping my fingers through the belt loops of his jeans. He pulled my wrists to his chest and then folded them across one another. Once he was satisfied that I was holding him tightly enough, he took off, racing down the road.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
And once the novelist has brought us to this state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid and more abiding than those that come to us in sleep, why then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world.
Marcel Proust
Thanks to economists, all of us, from the days of Adam Smith and before right down to the present, tariffs are perhaps one tenth of one percent lower than they otherwise would have been. … And because of our efforts, we have earned our salaries ten-thousand fold.
Milton Friedman
Because of the speed of light. The known universe is about sixteen billion light-years across, and it’s still expanding. But the speed of light is only three hundred thousand kilometers per second, a snail’s pace. This means that light can never go from one end of the universe to the other. Since nothing can move faster than the speed of light, it follows that no information and motive force can go from one end of the universe to the other. If the universe were a person, his neural signals couldn’t cover his entire body; his brain would not know of the existence of his limbs, and his limbs would not know of the existence of the brain. Isn’t that paraplegia? The image in my mind is even worse: The universe is but a corpse puffing up.” “Interesting, Dr. Guan, very interesting!” “Other than the speed of light, three hundred thousand kilometers per second, there’s another three-based symptom.” “What do you mean?” “The three dimensions. In string theory, excepting time, the universe has ten dimensions. But only three are accessible at the macroscopic scale, and those three form our world. All the others are folded up in the quantum realm.
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
And people think she killed him?" said Miss Tick. She sighed. "They probably think she cooked him in the oven, or something." "They never actually said," said Tiffany. "But I think it was something like that, yes." "And did his horse turn up?" said Miss Tick. "No," said Tiffany. "And that was strange, because if it'd turned up anywhere along the hills, people would have noticed it..." Miss Tick folded her hands, sniffed, and smiled a smile with no humor in it. "Easily explained," she said. "Mrs. Snapperly must have had a really big oven, eh?" "No, it was really quite small," said Tiffany. "Only ten inches deep.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
Thomas stared in horror at the monstrous thing making its way down the long corridor of the Maze. It looked like an experiment gone terribly wrong—something from a nightmare. Part animal, part machine, the Griever rolled and clicked along the stone pathway. Its body resembled a gigantic slug, sparsely covered in hair and glistening with slime, grotesquely pulsating in and out as it breathed. It had no distinguishable head or tail, but front to end it was at least six feet long, four feet thick. Every ten to fifteen seconds, sharp metal spikes popped through its bulbous flesh and the whole creature abruptly curled into a ball and spun forward. Then it would settle, seeming to gather its bearings, the spikes receding back through the moist skin with a sick slurping sound. It did this over and over, traveling just a few feet at a time. But hair and spikes were not the only things protruding from the Griever’s body. Several randomly placed mechanical arms stuck out here and there, each one with a different purpose. A few had bright lights attached to them. Others had long, menacing needles. One had a three-fingered claw that clasped and unclasped for no apparent reason. When the creature rolled, these arms folded and maneuvered to avoid being crushed. Thomas wondered what—or who—could create such frightening, disgusting creatures.
James Dashner (The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1))
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Well, I could befriend her,” Ten started, putting on an offended front as he pressed his hand to his chest. Noel threw back his head and laughed. “What?” Ten muttered, folding his arms over his chest and glaring. “I make a fucking awesome friend.” Noel’s chuckle settled before he seemed to realize Ten was serious. His smile dropped flat. Pointing at Ten’s nose, he growled. “Stay the fuck away from my sister.” Ten sent him a bland glance. “Why do you feel the need to say that to me in that exact tone every time you see me?
Linda Kage (With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men, #4))
The human mind is only capable of absorbing a few things at a time. We see what is taking place in front of us in the here and now, and cannot envisage simultaneously a succession of processes, no matter how integrated and complementary. Our faculties of perception are consequently limited even as regards fairly simple phenomena. The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word. The symmetriad is a million—a billion, rather—raised to the power of N: it is incomprehensible. We pass through vast halls, each with a capacity of ten Kronecker units, and creep like so many ants clinging to the folds of breathing vaults and craning to watch the flight of soaring girders, opalescent in the glare of searchlights, and elastic domes which criss-cross and balance each other unerringly, the perfection of a moment, since everything here passes and fades. The essence of this architecture is movement synchronized towards a precise objective. We observe a fraction of the process, like hearing the vibration of a single string in an orchestra of supergiants. We know, but cannot grasp, that above and below, beyond the limits of perception or imagination, thousands and millions of simultaneous transformations are at work, interlinked like a musical score by mathematical counterpoint. It has been described as a symphony in geometry, but we lack the ears to hear it.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Folded-over chips are preferable to flat chips—why is that? It’s one of life’s ten million mysteries.
Elin Hilderbrand (Winter Solstice (Winter Street Book 4))
What you give comes back to you ten-fold.
Brenda Bence
Take a look at anyone’s life. Take a look at your own. In the long fold catastrophe that makes up your three-score years and ten you will encounter many cusp catastrophes along the way.
William Boyd (Brazzaville Beach)
Sometimes I fear that even as a People when we take one step forward, we reel backwards ten times fold. I don't even think on the Precipice of Change will we truly move forward... It will most definitely take a Miracle.
Solange nicole
Here on this deck, millions of other universes exist unaware of one another..." He raised his wings and spread them wide before folding them again. "There," he said, "I have just brushed ten million other worlds, and they knew nothing of it. We are close as a heartbeat, but we can never touch or see or hear these other worlds...
Philip Pullman
It is not written that great men shall be happy men. It is nowhere recorded that the rewards of public office include a quiet mind. He sits in Whitehall, the year folding around him, aware of the shadow of his hand as it moves across the paper, his own inconcealable fist; and in the quiet of the house, he can hear the soft whispering of his quill, as if his writing is talking back to him. Can you make a new England? You can write a new story. You can write new texts and destroy the old ones, set the torn leaves of Duns Scotus sailing about the quadrangles, and place the gospels in every church. You can write on England, but what was written before keeps showing through, inscribed on the rocks and carried on floodwater, surfacing from deep cold wells. It’s not just the saints and martyrs who claim the country, it’s those who came before them: the dwarves dug into ditches, the sprites who sing in the breeze, the demons bricked into culverts and buried under bridges; the bones under your floor. You cannot tax them or count them. They have lasted ten thousand years and ten thousand before that. They are not easily dispossessed by farmers with fresh leases and law clerks who adduce proof of title. They bubble out of the ground, wear away the shoreline, sow weeds among the crops and erode the workings of mines.
Hilary Mantel (The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3))
In the meantime, though my kiss-stung face has returned to normal, my heart and all working body parts are absolutely not normal. Because every time Porter so much as even walks within ten feet of me at work, I have the same reaction. Four knocks on Hotbox door? I flush. Scent of coconut in the break room? I flush. Sound of Porter cracking jokes with Pangborn in the hallway? I flush. And every time this happens, Grace is there like some taunting Greek chorus, making a little mmm-hmmnoise of confirmation. Even Pangborn notices. “Are you ill, Miss Rydell?” “Yes,” I tell him in the break room one day before work. “I’m apparently very ill in the worst way. And I want you to know that I didn’t plan for this to happen. This was not part of my plan at all. If you want to know the truth, I had other plans for the summer!” I think of my boardwalk map, lying folded and abandoned in my purse. Pangborn nods slowly. “I have no idea what you mean, but I support it completely.” “Thank you,” I tell him as he walks away, whistling. Half a minute later, Porter pulls me into a dark corner of the hallway, checks around the corner, and kisses the bejesus out of me. “That’s me, destroying all your other plans,” he says wickedly. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d think he sounds jealous. Then he walks away, leaving me all hot and bothered. I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
No more shall the birds or the beasts seek to harm me, From the power that has held them, they will henceforth be set free And should another such attempt dare come to be The doer of the spell shall be so cursed ten-fold, plus three!
Leigh Ann Edwards (A Chieftain's Wife (Irish Witch #4))
He loved physical books with the same avidity other people loved horses or wine or prog rock. He'd never really warmed to ebooks because they seemed to reduce a book to a computer file, and computer files were disposable things, things you never really owned. He had no emails from ten years ago but still owned every book he bought that year. Besides, what was more perfect an object than a book? The different rags of paper, smooth or rough under your fingers. The edge of the page pressed into your thumbprint as you turned a new chapter. The way your bookmark - fancy, modest, scrap paper, candy wrapper - moved through the width of it, marking your progress, a little further each time you folded it shut.
Patrick Ness
Two mornings later, entering her daughter’s room, Kate was struck by the flatness of the bed, and then by the sight of a folded paper laid dead centre of the untenanted pillow. Unfolded, it proved to be a witty and delightfully-written apology from her daughter for upsetting the household, coupled with the information that, having some business of vital importance to transact north of the Border in the immediate future, she had taken the liberty of leaving for a few days without permission, as she just knew that Kate would make a fuss and stop her. She would be back directly with some heather, and Kate was not to worry and not to speak to any strange men. She had, Philippa concluded, taken Cheese-wame Henderson with her: thus becoming the only known fugitive to persuade her bodyguard to run away, too. It was a typical Somerville letter, and in other circumstances Kate no doubt would have been charmed by the spelling alone. As it was, she roused the neighbourhood for ten miles around, and there was no able-bodied Englishman within reach of Flaw Valleys who slept in his own bed that night or the next.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3))
A general summing up, such as this, is highly characteristic of the old Oriental mode of approach to a religious and philosophical teaching, and it naturally recalls the Eight-fold Path of Buddhism, the Ten Commandments of Moses, and other such compact groupings of ideas. Jesus concerned himself exclusively with the teaching of general principles, and these general principles always had to do with mental states, for he knew that if one’s mental states are right, everything else must be right too, whereas, if these are wrong, nothing else can be right. Unlike the other great religious teachers, he gives us no detailed instructions about what we are to do or are not to do; he does not tell us either to eat or to drink, or to refrain from eating or drinking certain things; or to carry out various ritual observances at certain times and seasons. Indeed, the whole current of his teaching is anti-ritualistic anti-formalist.
Emmet Fox (The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life)
Ten neatly coiffed female attendants stand against the walls, ready and waiting. Wearing starched yellow blouses with pink crossover ties neatly folded under the collar, they look as much a part of the ship’s decoration as the sparkling crystal chandeliers that hang overhead.
Gretchen Powell (Terra (Terrestrials, #1))
Kami glanced over at Angela. Angela lay serenely with her hands folded across her chest and her lashes like black lace against her white cheeks. “You look so sweet when you sleep,” Kami said. “Like an emo ten-year-old’s first Vampire Bride Barbie. Pull the string on the back and she says cruel things to her hardworking friends.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
A summer full of cheap food, folding chairs, and home-cooked meals. Those good times were so going to roll.
Wendy Wax (Ten Beach Road (Ten Beach Road #1))
I once read that if the folds in the cerebral cortex were smoothed out it would cover a card table. That seemed quite unbelievable but it did make me wonder just how big the cortex would be if you ironed it out. I thought it might just about cover a family-sized pizza: not bad, but no card-table. I was astonished to realize that nobody seems to know the answer. A quick search yielded the following estimates for the smoothed out dimensions of the cerebral cortex of the human brain. An article in Bioscience in November 1987 by Julie Ann Miller claimed the cortex was a "quarter-metre square." That is napkin-sized, about ten inches by ten inches. Scientific American magazine in September 1992 upped the ante considerably with an estimated of 1 1/2 square metres; thats a square of brain forty inches on each side, getting close to the card-table estimate. A psychologist at the University of Toronto figured it would cover the floor of his living room (I haven't seen his living room), but the prize winning estimate so far is from the British magazine New Scientist's poster of the brain published in 1993 which claimed that the cerebral cortex, if flattened out, would cover a tennis court. How can there be such disagreement? How can so many experts not know how big the cortex is? I don't know, but I'm on the hunt for an expert who will say the cortex, when fully spread out, will cover a football field. A Canadian football field.
Jay Ingram (The Burning House : Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain)
Oh, how awful is truth on earth! That exquisite creature, that gentle spirit, that heaven - she was a tyrant, she was the insufferable tyrant and torture of my soul! I should be unfair to myself if I didn't say so! You imagine I didn't love her? Who can say that I did not love her! Do you see, it was a case of irony, the malignant irony of fate and nature! We were under a curse, the life of men in general is under a curse! (mine in particular). Of course, I understand now that I made some mistake! Something went wrong. Everything was clear, my plan was clear as daylight: "Austere and proud, asking for no moral comfort, but suffering in silence." And that was how it was. I was not lying, I was not lying! "She will see for herself, later on, that it was heroic, only that she had not known how to see it, and when, some day, she divines, it she will prize me ten times more and will abase herself in the dust and fold her hands in homage" - that was my plan. But I forgot something or lost sight of it. There was something I failed to manage. But, enough, enough! And whose forgiveness am I to ask now? What is done is done. By bolder, man, and have some pride! It is not your fault!... Well, I will tell the truth, I am not afraid to face the truth; it was her fault, her fault!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Gentle Spirit)
Niccolo Machiavelli folded his arms across his chest and looked at the alchemyst. “I always knew we would meet again,” he said in French. “Though I never imagined it would be in these circumstances,” he added with a smile. “I was certain I’d get you in Paris last Saturday.” He bowed, an old-fashioned courtly gesture as Perenelle joined her husband. “Mistress Perenelle, it seems we are forever destined to meet on islands.” “The last time we met you had poisoned my husband and attempted to kill me,” Perenelle reminded him, speaking in Italian. Over three thousand years previously, the Sorceress and the Italian had fought at the foot of Mount Etna in Sicily. Although Perenelle had defeated Machiavelli, the energies they unleashed caused the ancient volcano to erupt. Lava flowed for five weeks after the battle and destroyed ten villages. “Forgive me. I was younger then, and foolish. And you emerged the victor of the encounter. I carry the scars to this day.” “Let us try and not blow up this island,” she said with a smile. Then she stretched out her hand. “I saw you try to save me earlier. There is no longer any enmity between us.” Machiavelli took her fingers in his and bent over them. “Thank you. That pleases me.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
If you just stop doing, you’ll start knowing. This seemed like magical nonsense, but desperate women take desperate measures. I decided to experiment. After the kids left for school, I shut myself in my closet, sat down on a towel, closed my eyes, and did nothing but breathe. At first, each ten-minute session felt ten hours long. I checked my phone every few moments, planned my grocery lists, and mentally redecorated my living room. The only things I seemed to “know” on that floor were that I was hungry and itchy and suddenly desperate to fold laundry and reorganize my pantry. I was an input junkie thrown into detox.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
In Washington, D.C., where the Volstead Act—which provided for enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment—had been militantly approved, the police reported nearly a ten-fold increase in drunk driving arrests since the legislation was enacted.
Deborah Blum (The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York)
Not a ripple could be noticed on the surface of the green waters; the swans themselves, even, reposing with folded wings like ships at anchor, seemed inspirations of the warmth of the air, the freshness of the water, and the silence of the beautiful evening
Alexandre Dumas (Ten Years Later (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.2))
Who would you say are the ten most powerful people in the FAYZ, Edilio?” Edilio raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Really?” “Yes.” “Number one is Albert,” Edilio said. “Then Caine. Sam. Lana.” He thought about it for a moment longer and said, “Quinn. Drake, unfortunately. Dekka. You. Me. Diana.” Astrid folded her arms in front of her. “Not Brianna? Or Orc?” “They’re both powerful, sure. But they don’t have the kind of power that moves other people, you know? Brianna’s cool, but she’s not someone who other people follow. Same with Jack. More so with Orc.
Michael Grant (Fear (Gone, #5))
I turned around to examine the rest of my temporary prison, and saw an enormous golden eye staring at me, less than ten feet away from where I stood. I did what any sensible witch would do in my circumstance. I screamed like a scared little girl. The eye blinked. Once, twice, and then shifted as the dragon turned its head toward me, regarding me with both golden eyes. “I could have eaten you, you know.” I nodded numbly and stammered, “Thank you for not doing that.” I knew dragons existed in Faerie, though I’d never seen one before. Dragons are reclusive as a rule and tend to guard their privacy ferociously, so only the overly brave or overly stupid seek them out on purpose. The creature was huge, taking up a good portion of the room with its bulk. Black scales covered its body, and leathery wings were folded against its back. Smoke puffed out of its nostrils for a moment, and my stomach leapt in panic. “I only eat virgins though.” I stared at the dragon in disbelief, feeling the inexplicable urge to defend my past sexual history. My mouth worked as I struggled to find an appropriate response, and I thought I saw a glint of humor in its golden gaze.
Robyn Bachar (Blood, Smoke and Mirrors (Bad Witch #1))
Tuck and me, we got each other,” she said, “and that’s a lot. The boys, now, they go their separate ways. They’re some different, don’t always get on too good. But they come home whenever the spirit moves, and every ten years, first week of August, they meet at the spring and come home together so’s we can be a family again for a little while. That’s why we was there this morning. One way or another, it all works out.” She folded her arms and nodded, more to herself than to Winnie. “Life’s got to be lived, no matter how long or short,” she said calmly. “You got to take what comes. We just go along, like everybody else, one day at a time. Funny--we don’t feel no different. Leastways, I don’t. Sometimes I forget about what’s happened to us, forget it altogether. And then sometimes it comes over me and I wonder why it happened to us. We’re plain as salt, us Tucks. We don’t deserve no blessings--if it is a blessing. And, likewise, I don’t see how we deserve to be cursed, if it’s a curse. Still-there’s no use trying to figure why things fall the way they do. Things just are, and fussing don’t bring changes. Tuck, now, he’s got a few other ideas, but I expect he’ll tell you.
Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting)
But even in September, Thursday was a big money night, seven to eight hundred take-home, and that's what April concentrated on as she drove, Franny's chin starting to loll against her chest—April made herself think of that fat roll of tens and twenties she'd have at closing, how she'd fold it into the front pocket of her jeans then go to the house mom's office off the dressing room and give Tina a hundred before she found Franny in her pj's on Tina's brown vinyl couch, and she'd try not to think of the walls above Tina's desk covered with dancers' schedules and audition Polaroids of naked women, some of them under postcards from girls who came and went.
Andre Dubus III (The Garden of Last Days)
One," said the recording secretary. "Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly. There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him. "Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause. Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids." Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip. "Three," called the secretary hurriedly. Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years. "Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins." Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap. "Four." The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Still that silence. "Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover. "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion." "Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay. Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny." I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it. "Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him. Toward the door some one tittered. "Seven," called the secretary hastily. Leon glanced around the room. "But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself. "Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief. Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess. "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her. Laddie would thrash him for that. Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" More than one giggled that time. "Ten!" came almost sharply. Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." "Eleven." Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!" Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook. "Twelve." Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning. "Thirteen." "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story (Library of Indiana Classics))
XII. If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk Above its mates, the head was chopped, the bents Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents In the dock's harsh swarth leaves, bruised as to baulk All hope of greenness? Tis a brute must walk Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents. XIII. As for the grass, it grew as scant as hair In leprosy; thin dry blades pricked the mud Which underneath looked kneaded up with blood. One stiff blind horse, his every bone a-stare, Stood stupified, however he came there: Thrust out past service from the devil's stud! XIV. Alive? he might be dead for aught I knew, With that red gaunt and colloped neck a-strain. And shut eyes underneath the rusty mane; Seldom went such grotesqueness with such woe; I never saw a brute I hated so; He must be wicked to deserve such pain. XV. I shut my eyes and turned them on my heart, As a man calls for wine before he fights, I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights, Ere fitly I could hope to play my part. Think first, fight afterwards, the soldier's art: One taste of the old time sets all to rights. XVI. Not it! I fancied Cuthbert's reddening face Beneath its garniture of curly gold, Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold An arm to mine to fix me to the place, The way he used. Alas, one night's disgrace! Out went my heart's new fire and left it cold. XVII. Giles then, the soul of honour - there he stands Frank as ten years ago when knighted first, What honest man should dare (he said) he durst. Good - but the scene shifts - faugh! what hangman hands Pin to his breast a parchment? His own bands Read it. Poor traitor, spit upon and curst! XVIII. Better this present than a past like that: Back therefore to my darkening path again! No sound, no sight as far as eye could strain. Will the night send a howlet or a bat? I asked: when something on the dismal flat Came to arrest my thoughts and change their train. XIX. A sudden little river crossed my path As unexpected as a serpent comes. No sluggish tide congenial to the glooms; This, as it frothed by, might have been a bath For the fiend's glowing hoof - to see the wrath Of its black eddy bespate with flakes and spumes. XX. So petty yet so spiteful! All along, Low scrubby alders kneeled down over it; Drenched willows flung them headlong in a fit Of mute despair, a suicidal throng: The river which had done them all the wrong, Whate'er that was, rolled by, deterred no whit. XXI. Which, while I forded - good saints, how I feared To set my foot upon a dead man's cheek, Each step, of feel the spear I thrust to seek For hollows, tangled in his hair or beard! - It may have been a water-rat I speared, But, ugh! it sounded like a baby's shriek. XXII. Glad was I when I reached the other bank. Now for a better country. Vain presage! Who were the strugglers, what war did they wage, Whose savage trample thus could pad the dank soil to a plash? Toads in a poisoned tank Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage - XXIII. The fight must so have seemed in that fell cirque, What penned them there, with all the plain to choose? No footprint leading to that horrid mews, None out of it. Mad brewage set to work Their brains, no doubt, like galley-slaves the Turk Pits for his pastime, Christians against Jews.
Robert Browning
To me the front is a mysterious whirlpool. Though I am in still water far away from its centre, I feel the whirl of the vortex sucking me slowly, irresistibly, inescapable into itself. From the earth, from the air, sustaining forces pour into us—mostly from the earth. To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and often for ever. Earth!—Earth!—Earth! Earth with thy folds, and hollows, and holes, into which a man may fling himself and crouch down. In the spasm of terror, under the hailing of annihilation, in the bellowing death of the explosions, O Earth, thou grantest us the great resisting surge of new-won life. Our being, almost utterly carried away by the fury of the storm, streams back through our hands from thee, and we, thy redeemed ones, bury ourselves in thee, and through the long minutes in a mute agony of hope bite into thee with our lips! At the sound of the first droning of the shells we rush back, in one part of our being, a thousand years. By the animal instinct that is awakened in us we are led and protected. It is not conscious; it is far quicker, much more sure, less fallible, than consciousness. One cannot explain it. A man is walking along without thought or heed;—suddenly he throws himself down on the ground and a storm of fragments flies harmlessly over him;—yet he cannot remember either to have heard the shell coming or to have thought of flinging himself down. But had he not abandoned himself to the impulse he would now be a heap of mangled flesh. It is this other, this second sight in us, that has thrown us to the ground and saved us, without our knowing how. If it were not so, there would not be one man alive from Flanders to the Vosges. We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers—we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals. An
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Billos ran. He tore down the shore, bounded up on the rock, and dove into the air. The warm water engulfed him. A boiling heat knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock alone might kill him. But it was pleasure that surged through his body, not pain. The sensations coursed through his bones in great unrelenting waves. Elyon. How he was certain, he did not know. But he knew. Elyon was in this lake with him. Billos opened his eyes. Gold light drifted by. He lost all sense of direction. The water pressed in on every inch of his body, as intense as any acid, but one that burned with pleasure instead of pain. He sank into the water, opened his mouth and laughed. He wanted more, much more. He wanted to suck the water in and drink it. Without thinking, he did just that. The liquid hit his lungs. Billos pulled up, panicked. He tried to hack the water from his lungs, but inhaled more instead. No pain. He carefully sucked more water and breathed it out slowly. Then again, deep and hard. Out with a soft whoosh. He was breathing the water! Billos shrieked with laughter. He swam into the lake, deeper and deeper. The power contained in this lake was far greater than anything he'd ever imagined. "I made this, Billos." Billos whipped his body around, searching for the words' source. "Elyon?" His voice was muffled, hardly a voice at all. "Do you like it?" "Yes!" Billos said. He might have spoken; he might have shouted--he didn't know. He only knew that his whole body screamed it. Billos looked around. "Elyon?" "Why do you doubt me, Billos?" In that single moment the full weight of Billos's foolishness crashed on him like a sledgehammer. "I see you, Billos." "I made you." "I love you." The words crashed over him, reaching into the deepest folds of his flesh, caressing each hidden synapse, flowing through every vein, as though he had been given a transfusion. "I choose you, Billos." Billos began to weep. The feeling was more intense than any pain he had ever felt. The current pulled at him, tugging him up through the colors. His body trembled with pleasure. He wanted to speak, to yell, to tell the whole world that he was the most fortunate person in the universe. That he was loved by Elyon. Elyon himself. "Never leave me, Billos." "Never! I will never leave you." The current pushed him through the water and then above the surface not ten meters from the shore. He stood on the sandy bottom. For a moment he had such clarity of mind that he was sure he could understand the very fabric of space if he put his mind to it. He was chosen. He was loved.
Ted Dekker (Renegade (The Lost Books, #3))
If Sophie hadn’t used my magic in her body,” Elodie summed up, “she would’ve been dead like, ten times by now.” Okay, it was only twice, I grumbled inside. Elodie ignored me. “And no,” she said, raising my hand to cut off Jenna’s next question. “I can’t possess anyone else. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get inside Lara Casnoff ever since we got here. Which…sounds really wrong.” I felt my shoulders shrug. “Anyway, you looked like you were about to eat your own lip, and that’s totally gross, so I figured I oughta swoop in and put your mind at ease. Last night, when I was trying my hardest to possess anyone who’s not this freak, I overheard the Casnoffs talking. Apparently, turning a vampire into a demon seems like an awesome idea, so that’s why you’re here. No staking on the agenda.” Usling Elodie as a spy hadn’t even occurred to me. Oh my God, this is perfect! I shouted. Well, mentally shouted. Of course! They can’t see you unless you want them to; you can go anywhere in the school, and- Jeez, not so loud, she interrupted. I’m in your head, so use your inside inside voice. Elodie went to brush my hair out of my eyes, muttering, “God, how does she live like this?” If you promise to stop taking over whenever you feel like it, I promise to get a hot oil treatment, I replied, and she snorted. Jenna folded her arms tightly across her chest. “So, what-you’re like, helping us now?” My eyes rolled. “No, I’m on Team Take Over The World With A Demon Army. Of course I’m helping you. Mostly so that whenever this is over, Sophie can get back to important stuff. Like how to unbind me from her.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when be buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and often for ever. Earth! - Earth! - Earth! Earth with thy folds, and hollows, and holes, into which a man may fling himself and crouch down. In the spasm of terror, under the hailing of annihilation, in the bellowing death of explosions, O Earth, thou grantest us the great resisting surge of new-won life. Our being, almost utterly carried away by the fury of the storm, streams back through our hands from thee, and we, thy redeemed ones, bury ourselves in thee, and through the long minutes in a mute agony of hope bite into thee with our lips.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and often for ever. Earth! - Earth! - Earth! Earth with thy folds, and hollows, and holes, into which a man may fling himself and crouch down. In the spasm of terror, under the hailing of annihilation, in the bellowing death of explosions, O Earth, thou grantest us the great resisting surge of new-won life. Our being, almost utterly carried away by the fury of the storm, streams back through our hands from thee, and we, thy redeemed ones, bury ourselves in thee, and through the long minutes in a mute agony of hope bite into thee with our lips.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
I'm sorry I dragged you into this.” He leaned back against the low wall and folded his arms. “I wouldn't have missed it for the world.” “You're trapped in the Chicago compound,” I pointed out. “Yeah, but I'm with the girl who's going to end the quarantine.” “What?” I stared at him. He cut me a sly look. “The girl in Mack's stories always does.” “I'm not that girl.” “No,” he agreed. “You're better. For one thing, you're real. And two, you fill out that dress better than a ten-year-old could.
Kat Falls (Inhuman (Fetch, #1))
Meanwhile the thinking person, by intellect usually left-wing but by temperament often right-wing, hovers at the gate of the Socialist fold. He is no doubt aware that he ought to be a Socialist. But he observes first the dullness of individual Socialists, then the apparent flabbiness of Socialist ideals, and veers away. Till quite recently it was natural to veer towards indinerentism. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the typical literary gent wrote books on baroque architecture and had a soul above politics. But that attitude is becoming difficult and even unfashionable. The times are growing harsher, the issues are clearer, the belief that nothing will ever change (i.e. that your dividends will always be safe) is less prevalent. The fence on which the literary gent sits, once as comfortable as the plush cushion of a cathedral-stall, is now pinching his bottom intolerably; more and more he shows a disposition to drop off on one side or the other. It is interesting to notice how many of our leading writers, who a dozen years ago were art for art's saking for all they were worth and would have considered it too vulgar for words to even vote at a general election, are now taking a definite political standpoint; while most of the younger writers, at least those of them who are not mere footlers, have been 'political' from the start. I believe that when the pinch comes there is a terrible danger that the main movement of the intelligentsia will be towards Fascism. . . . That will also be the moment when every person with any brains or decency will know in his bones that he ought to be on the Socialist side. But he will not necessarily come there of his own accord; there are too many ancient prejudices standing in the way. He will have to be persuaded, and by methods that imply an understanding of his viewpoint. Socialists cannot afford to waste any more time in preaching to the converted. Their job now is to make Socialists as rapidly as possible; instead of which, all too often, they are making Fascists.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
Paul watched him amble into his class-room at the end of the passage, where a burst of applause greeted his arrival. Dumb with terror, he went into his own class-room. Ten boys sat before him, their hands folded, their eyes bright with expectation. ‘Good morning, sir,’ said the one nearest him. ‘Good morning,’ said Paul. ‘Good morning, sir,’ said the next. ‘Good morning,’ said Paul. ‘Good morning, sir,’ said the next. ‘Oh, shut up,’ said Paul. At this the boy took out a handkerchief and began to cry quietly.
Evelyn Waugh (Decline and Fall)
Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations. The stretch of Hudson Street where I live is each day the scene of an intricate sidewalk ballet. I make my own first entrance into it a little after eight when I put out my garbage gcan, surely a prosaic occupation, but I enjoy my part, my little clang, as the junior droves of junior high school students walk by the center of the stage dropping candy wrapper. (How do they eat so much candy so early in the morning?) While I sweep up the wrappers I watch the other rituals of the morning: Mr Halpert unlocking the laundry's handcart from its mooring to a cellar door, Joe Cornacchia's son-in-law stacking out the empty crates from the delicatessen, the barber bringing out his sidewalk folding chair, Mr. Goldstein arranging the coils of wire which proclaim the hardware store is open, the wife of the tenement's super intendent depositing her chunky three-year-old with a toy mandolin on the stoop, the vantage point from which he is learning English his mother cannot speak. Now the primary childrren, heading for St. Luke's, dribble through the south; the children from St. Veronica\s cross, heading to the west, and the children from P.S 41, heading toward the east. Two new entrances are made from the wings: well-dressed and even elegant women and men with brief cases emerge from doorways and side streets. Most of these are heading for the bus and subways, but some hover on the curbs, stopping taxis which have miraculously appeared at the right moment, for the taxis are part of a wider morning ritual: having dropped passengers from midtown in the downtown financial district, they are now bringing downtowners up tow midtown. Simultaneously, numbers of women in housedresses have emerged and as they crisscross with one another they pause for quick conversations that sound with laughter or joint indignation, never, it seems, anything in between. It is time for me to hurry to work too, and I exchange my ritual farewell with Mr. Lofaro, the short, thick bodied, white-aproned fruit man who stands outside his doorway a little up the street, his arms folded, his feet planted, looking solid as the earth itself. We nod; we each glance quickly up and down the street, then look back at eachother and smile. We have done this many a morning for more than ten years, and we both know what it means: all is well. The heart of the day ballet I seldom see, because part off the nature of it is that working people who live there, like me, are mostly gone, filling the roles of strangers on other sidewalks. But from days off, I know enough to know that it becomes more and more intricate. Longshoremen who are not working that day gather at the White Horse or the Ideal or the International for beer and conversation. The executives and business lunchers from the industries just to the west throng the Dorgene restaurant and the Lion's Head coffee house; meat market workers and communication scientists fill the bakery lunchroom.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
Next to this central belief which,while I was reading, would be constantly reaching out from my inner self to the outer world, towards the discovery of truth, came the emotions aroused in me by the action in which I was taking part, for these afternoons were crammed with more dramatic events than occur, often, in a whole lifetime. These were the events taking Place in the book I was reading. It is true that the people concerned in them were not what Francoise would have called "real people." .... it matters not that the actions, the feelings of this new order of creatures appear to us in the guise of truth, since we have made them our own, since it is in ourselves that they are happening, that they are holding in thrall, as we feverishly turn over the pages of the book, our quickened breath and staring eyes. And once the novelist has brought us to this state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes to disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid and more abiding than those which come to us in sleep, why then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world, a few of which only we should have to spend years of our actual life in getting to know, and the most intense of which would never be revealed to us of their development prevents us from perceiving them. It is the same in life; the heart changes, and it is our worst sorrow; but we know it only through reading, through our imagination: in reality its alternation, like that of certain natural phenomena, is so gradual that, even if we are able to distinguish, successively, each of its different states, we are still spared the actual sensation of change.
Marcel Proust (Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1))
The novelist’s happy discovery was to think of substituting for those opaque sections, impenetrable by the human spirit, their equivalent in immaterial sections, things, that is, which the spirit can assimilate to itself. After which it matters not that the actions, the feelings of this new order of creatures appear to us in the guise of truth, since we have made them our own, since it is in ourselves that they are happening, that they are holding in thrall, while we turn over, feverishly, the pages of the book, our quickened breath and staring eyes. And once the novelist has brought us to that state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes to disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid, and of a more lasting impression than those which come to us in sleep; why, then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world, a few of which, only, we should have to spend years of our actual life in getting to know, and the keenest, the most intense of which would never have been revealed to us because the slow course of their development stops our perception of them
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Lake Natron resided in northern Tanzania near an active volcano known as Ol Doinyo Lengai. It was part of the reason the lake had such unique characteristics. The mud had a curious dark grey color over where Jack had been set up for observation, and he noted that there was now an odd-looking mound of it to the right of one of the flamingo’s nests. He zoomed in further and further, peering at it, and then realized what he was actually seeing. The dragon had crouched down beside the nests and blended into the mud. From snout to tail, Jack calculated it had to be twelve to fourteen feet long. Its wings were folded against its back, which had small spines running down the length to a spiky tail. It had a fin with three prongs along the base of the skull and webbed feet tipped with sharp black talons. He estimated the dragon was about the size of a large hyena. It peered up at its prey with beady red eyes, its black forked tongue darting out every few seconds. Its shoulder muscles bunched and its hind legs tensed. Then it pounced. The dark grey dragon leapt onto one of flamingoes atop its nest and seized it by the throat. The bird squawked in distress and immediately beat its wings, trying to free itself. The others around them took to the skies in panic. The dragon slammed it into the mud and closed its jaws around the animal’s throat, blood spilling everywhere. The flamingo yelped out its last breaths and then finally stilled. The dragon dropped the limp carcass and sniffed the eggs before beginning to swallow them whole one at a time. “Holy shit,” Jack muttered. “Have we got a visual?” “Oh, yeah. Based on the size, the natives and the conservationists were right to be concerned. It can probably wipe out a serious number of wildlife in a short amount of time based on what I’m seeing. There’s only a handful of fauna that can survive in these conditions and it could make mincemeat out of them.” “Alright, so what’s the plan?” “They told me it’s very agile, which is why their attempts to capture it haven’t worked. I’m going to see if it responds to any of the usual stimuli. So far, they said it doesn’t appear to be aggressive.” “Copy that. Be careful, cowboy.” “Ten-four.” Jack glanced down at his utility belt and opened the pocket on his left side, withdrawing a thin silver whistle. He put it to his lips and blew for several seconds. Much like a dog whistle, Jack couldn’t hear anything. But the dragon’s head creaked around and those beady red eyes locked onto him. Jack lowered the whistle and licked his dry lips. “If I were in a movie, this would be the part where I said, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’” The dragon roared, its grey wings extending out from its body, and then flew straight at him.
Kyoko M. (Of Claws & Inferno (Of Cinder & Bone, #5))
Will found that if he looked at the fire, with the angel just at the edge of his vision, he had a much stronger impression of him. “Where is Baruch?” he said. “Can he communicate with you?” “I feel that he is close. He’ll be here very soon. When he returns, we shall talk. Talking is best.” And barely ten minutes later the soft sound of wingbeats came to their ears, and Balthamos stood up eagerly. The next moment, the two angels were embracing, and Will, gazing into the flames, saw their mutual affection. More than affection: they loved each other with a passion. Baruch sat down beside his companion, and Will stirred the fire, so that a cloud of smoke drifted past the two of them. It had the effect of outlining their bodies so that he could see them both clearly for the first time. Balthamos was slender; his narrow wings were folded elegantly behind his shoulders, and his face bore an expression that mingled haughty disdain with a tender, ardent sympathy, as if he would love all things if only his nature could let him forget their defects. But he saw no defects in Baruch, that was clear. Baruch seemed younger, as Balthamos had said he was, and was more powerfully built, his wings snow-white and massive. He had a simpler nature; he looked up to Balthamos as to the fount of all knowledge and joy. Will found himself intrigued and moved by their love for each other.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3))
To kill one man is to be guilty of a capital crime, to kill ten men is to increase the guilt ten-fold, to kill a hundred men is to increase it a hundred-fold. This the rulers of the earth all recognize, and yet when it comes to the greatest crime—waging war on another state—they praise it! . . . If a man on seeing a little black were to say it is black, but on seeing a lot of black were to say it is white, it would be clear that such a man could not distinguish black and white.... So those who recognize a small crime as such, but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all—the waging of war on another state—but actually praise it—cannot distinguish right and wrong.104
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
You may not run away from the thing that you are because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe. As certain. The thing is deep inside your linings, way down in the marrow. people have a lot of words for it. There are ten thousand names for it and you. Wherever you are , it catches you up. It catches you in South Africa. Wherever you are and whatever it is, the terrible is trying to grip you and sometimes you're walking down the street and it tries to knock you clean off your feet and send you right underground. The terrible comes like a bang in the night. It takes a drink and several more and comes to plague you in the morning; it damn near poisons you with all the drink it needs to stay alive. it toys with you the morning after - stays the entire day, squeezing you by the shoulders, making your hands shake. it smiles at you, the terrible. Sitting, arms folded, in the corner of the room. It just can't help itself. It just needs friends. It's such a lonely thing. The terrible needs to eat and it eats whole lives up in one sitting. The terrible claps its terrible hands and everything falls right through them. The terrible is here one month and gone for a while until the middle of the next, allowing you to catch your breath - and just when you almost think everything is okay and when you're not over or under-breathing, it surprises you in the middle of the night again.
Yrsa Daley-Ward (The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir)
Driven by heartache, she beat the eggs even more vigorously until the glossy meringue quickly formed into stiff, bird's beak peaks. "Philippe, do you have any orange liqueur?" Marie asked, rummaging through her brother's pantry. "Here it is," Philippe said, handing a corked bottle to her. "What are you making?" "A bûche de Noël," Danielle said, concentrating on her task. Carefully measuring each rationed ingredient, she combined sugar and flour in another bowl, grated orange zest, added the liqueur, and folded the meringue into the mixture. "It's not Christmas without a traditional Yuletide log." Marie ran a finger down a page of an old recipe book, reading directions for the sponge cake, or biscuit. "'Spread into a shallow pan and bake for ten minutes.'" "I wouldn't know about that," Philippe said. "I don't celebrate your husband's holiday," he said pointedly to Marie. "Let's not dredge up that old argument, mon frère," Marie said, softening her words with a smile. "I converted for love." A knock sounded at the front door. Danielle threw a look of concern toward Philippe, who hurried to answer it. "Then we'll cool it," Danielle said, trying to stay calm. "And brush the surface with coffee liqueur and butter cream frosting, roll it like a log, and decorate." She thought about the meringue mushrooms she had made with Nicky last year, and how he had helped score the frosting to mimic wood grains.
Jan Moran (Scent of Triumph)
From the pleasure podium of Ali Qapu, beyond the enhanced enclosure, the city spread itself towards the horizon. Ugly buildings are prohibited in Esfahan. They go to Tehran or stay in Mashhad. Planters vie with planners to outnumber buildings with trees. Attracting nightingales, blackbirds and orioles is considered as important as attracting people. Maples line the canals, reaching towards each other with branches linked. Beneath them, people meander, stroll and promenade. The Safavids' high standards generated a kind of architectural pole-vaulting competition in which beauty is the bar, and ever since the Persians have been imbuing the most mundane objects with design. Turquoise tiles ennoble even power stations. In the meadow in the middle of Naghshe Jahan, as lovers strolled or rode in horse-drawn traps, I lay on my back picking four-leafed clovers and looking at the sky. There was an intimacy about its grandeur, like having someone famous in your family. The life of centuries past was more alive here than anywhere else, its physical dimensions unchanged. Even the brutal mountains, folded in light and shadows beyond the square, stood back in awe of it. At three o'clock, the tiled domes soaked up the sunshine, transforming its invisible colours to their own hue, and the gushing fountains ventilated the breeze and passed it on to grateful Esfahanis. But above all was the soaring sky, captured by this snare of arches.(p378)
Christopher Kremmer (The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes)
Cheat propped his elbows on his knees and gazed up at Kestrel. He scrutinized her: the long, loosely clasped hands, the folds of her dress. Kestrel’s clothes had mysteriously appeared in the suite’s wardrobe, probably while she had slept, and she was glad. The dueling ensemble had served well enough, but wearing a dress fit for society made Kestrel feel ready for different kinds of battle. “Where is Arin?” Cheat said. “In the mountains.” “Doing what?” “I don’t know. I imagine that, since the Valorian reinforcements will come through the mountain pass, he is analyzing its values and drawbacks as a battleground.” Cheat gave her a gleeful smirk. “Does it bother you, being a traitor?” “I don’t see how I am.” “You just confirmed that the reinforcements will come through the pass. Thank you.” “It’s hardly worth thanking me,” she said. “Almost every useful ship in the empire has been sent east, which means there is no other way into the city. Anyone with brains could figure that out, which is why Arin is in the mountains, and you are here.” A flush began to build under Cheat’s skin. He said, “My feet are dusty.” Kestrel had no idea how to respond to that. “Wash them,” he said. “What?” He took off his boots, stretched out his legs, and leaned back against the bench. Kestrel, who had been quite still, became stone. “It’s Herrani custom for the lady of the house to wash the feet of special guests,” said Cheat. “Even if such a custom existed, it died ten years ago. And I’m not the lady of the house.” “No, you’re a slave. You’ll do as I command.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
I have a proposition for you,” she said, trying for a businesslike tone. “A very sensible one. You see—” She paused to clear her throat. “I’ve been thinking about your problem.” “What problem?” Cam played lightly with the folds of her skirts, watching her face alertly. “Your good-luck curse. I know how to get rid of it. You should marry into a family with very, very bad luck. A family with expensive problems. And then you won’t have to be embarrassed about having so much money, because it will flow out nearly as fast as it comes in.” “Very sensible.” Cam took her shaking hand in his, pressed it between his warm palms. And touched his foot to her rapidly tapping one. “Hummingbird,” he whispered, “you don’t have to be nervous with me.” Gathering her courage, Amelia blurted out, “I want your ring. I want never to take it off again. I want to be your romni forever”— she paused with a quick, abashed smile—“ whatever that is.” “My bride. My wife.” Amelia froze in a moment of throat-clenching delight as she felt him slide the gold ring onto her finger, easing it to the base. “When we were with Leo, tonight,” she said scratchily, “I knew exactly how he felt about losing Laura. He told me once that I couldn’t understand unless I had loved someone that way. He was right. And tonight, as I watched you with him … I knew what I would think at the very last moment of my life.” His thumb smoothed over the tender surface of her knuckle. “Yes, love?” “I would think,” she continued, “‘ Oh, if I could have just one more day with Cam. I would fit a lifetime into those few hours.’” “Not necessary,” he assured her gently. “Statistically speaking, we’ll have at least ten, fifteen thousand days to spend together.” “I don’t want to be apart from you for even one of them.” Cam cupped her small, serious face in his hands, his thumbs skimming the trace of tears beneath her eyes. His gaze caressed her. “Are we to live in sin, love, or will you finally agree to marry me?” “Yes. Yes. I’ll marry you. Although … I still can’t promise to obey you.” Cam laughed quietly. “We’ll manage around that. If you’ll at least promise to love me.” Amelia gripped his wrists, his pulse steady and strong beneath her fingertips. “Oh, I do love you, you’re—” “I love you, too.” “— my fate. You’re everything I—” She would have said more, if he had not pulled her head to his, kissing her with hard, thrilling pressure.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
"I...I still—" "Can't believe it?" Rafe shrugged. "I'm guessing a regular person wouldn't have survived. But we're part cat so maybe falls aren't so bad. I think I lost one of my nine lives though." He twisted to look at the stab wound. "Maybe two." I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him, and when I did, I knew he was real—the heat of him, the smell of him, the feel of him, the taste of him so incredibly real that it surpassed anything my memory could conjure up. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back, and it was like every other amazing kiss he'd given me, multiplied ten-fold. I kissed him until I couldn't breathe, and then I kissed him a little more, until I had to pull back, gasping. "I have got to die more often," he said. And he grinned, that incredible blaze of a grin that made me kiss him again.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
She had only time, however, to move closer to the table where he had been writing, when footsteps were heard returning; the door opened; it was himself. He begged their pardon, but he had forgotten his gloves, and instantly crossing the room to the writing table, and standing with his back towards Mrs. Musgrove, he drew out a letter from under the scattered paper, placed it before Anne with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her for a moment, and hastily collecting his gloves, was again out of the room, almost before Mrs. Musgrove was aware of his being in it - the work of an instant! The revolution which one instant had made in Anne, was almost beyond expression. The letter, with a direction hardily legible, to 'Miss A.E. - ,' was evidently the one which he had been folding so hastily. While supposed to be writing only to Captain Benwick, he had been also addressing her! On the contents of that letter depended all which this world could do for her! Any thing was possible, any thing might be defied rather than suspense. Mrs. Musgrove had little arrangements of her own at her own table; to their protection she must trust, and sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words: 'I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. - Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.' 'I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
We pass through vast halls, each with a capacity of ten Kronecker units, and creep like so many ants clinging to the folds of breathing vaults and craning to watch the flight of soaring girders, opalescent in the glare of searchlights, and elastic domes which criss-cross and balance each other unerringly, the perfection of a moment, since everything here passes and fades. The essence of this architecture is movement synchronized towards a precise objective. We observe a fraction of the process, like hearing the vibration of a single string in an orchestra of supergiants. We know, but cannot grasp, that above and below, beyond the limits of perception or imagination, thousands and millions of simultaneous transformations are at work, interlinked like a musical score by mathematical counterpoint. It has been described as a symphony in geometry, but we lack the ears to hear it.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Bruce has always been the cook in the family, and when Jordan was a preschooler, the little boy showed up in the kitchen and asked to help prepare dinner. They had been partners ever since. At first, Jordan was given a butter knife, which he used to cut soft vegetables. He arranged food on plates. He tasted pasta to see if it was done, and sauces for saltiness. By the time he was ten, he was helping Bruce choose recipes. He received his own subscription to Bon Appétit for Hanukkah and pored over every copy, folding down the corner on recipes he wanted to try. Eddie became their taster, coming to the kitchen from the piano, or the book he was reading, to give the dish a thumbs-up. When Bruce pictured happiness, it was cooking in the kitchen beside Jordan while listening to Eddie play the piano in the next room. That scene repeated regularly and made Bruce thrum with joy. Every time, he thought, I will not take this for granted.
Ann Napolitano (Dear Edward)
She did what women do and have always done, because the laundry still needs to be folded, the children collected from school or the fields or the workhouse, the dinner has to be made or gathered or harvested or butchered. Women do what needs to be done, they do what is expected, the obligation of their gender. For centuries, for thousands of years, tens of thousands, millions of years, women have been sucking cock and licking floors and going up the stairs just to keep men from making any more trouble. Men mistake the act of submission for the condition of submission. But they don’t know that women split themselves right down the middle, the submitting part and the fuck you part. When did this splitting begin? Rosie regarded Miranda. Had it already, in this small girl-child? She’d received, aged twenty months, her first sexual proposition. How many more to come? Women had holes and men believed it was their right to fill them. Not content with the physical holes, they tried to make existential ones. Drilling, drilling, drilling.
Melanie Finn (The Hare)
This puts me in mind of a circumstance that occurred when I was laboring on a mission in London many, many years ago: We had an old gentleman there that had been in the army. He was a war veteran and he was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ on the streets. A man came up and slapped him on the face. "Now," he says, "if you are a Christian turn the other cheek." So old daddy turned the other cheek, but he said: "Hit again and down you go." He would have gone down, too, if he had struck again. True, Jesus Christ taught that non-resistance, was right and praiseworthy and a duty under certain circumstances and conditions; but just look at him when he went into the temple, when he made that scourge of thongs, when he turned out the money-changers and kicked over their tables and told them to get out of the house of the Lord! "My house is a house of prayer," he said, "but ye have made it a den of thieves." Get out of here! Hear him crying, "Woe unto you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and then ye make him ten-fold more the child of hell than he was before." That was the other side of the spirit of Jesus. Jesus was no milksop. He was not to be trampled under foot. He was ready to submit when the time came for his martyrdom, and he was to be nailed on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, but he was ready at any time to stand up for his rights like a man. He is not only called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," but also "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah," and He will be seen to be terrible by and by to his enemies. Now while we are not particularly required to pattern after the "lion" side of his character unless it becomes necessary, the Lord does not expect us to submit to be trodden under foot by our enemies and never resist. The Lord does not want us to inculcate the spirit of war nor the spirit of bloodshed. In fact he has commanded us not to shed blood, but there are times and seasons, as we can find in the history of the world, in [the] Bible and the Book of Mormon, when it is justifiable and right and proper and the duty of men to go forth in the defense of their homes and their families and maintain their privileges and rights by force of arms.
Charles W. Penrose
Until I was ten, I had a very clear image of God; ravaged with age and draped in white scarves, God had the featureless guise of a highly respectable woman. Although She resembled a human being, She had more in common with the phantoms that populated my dreams: not at all like someone I might run into on the street. Because when She appeared before my eyes, She was upside down and turned slightly to one side. The phantoms of my imaginary world faded bashfully into the background as soon as I noticed them, but then so did She; after the sort of elegant rolling shot of the surrounding world that you see in some films and television commercials, Her image would sharpen and She would begin to ascend, fading as She rose to Her rightful place in the clouds. The folds of Her white head scarf were as sharp and elaborate as the ones I’d seen on statues and in the illustrations in history books, and they covered Her body entirely; I couldn’t even see Her arms or legs. Whenever this specter appeared before me, I felt a powerful, sublime, and exalted presence but surprisingly little fear. I don’t remember ever asking for Her help or guidance. I was only too aware that She was not interested in people like me: She cared only for the poor.
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
Hickock whistled and rolled his eyes. "Wow!" he said, and then, summoning his talent for something very like total recall, he began an account of the long ride--the approximately ten thousand miles he and Smith had covered in the past six weeks. He talked for an hour and twenty-five minutes--from two-fifty to four-fifteen--and told, while Nye attempted to list them, of highways and hotels, motels, rivers, towns, and cities, a chorus of entwining names: Apache, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Santillo, San Luis Potosi, Acapulco, San Diego, Dallas, Omaha, Sweetwater, Stillwater, Tenville Junction, Tallahassee, Needles, Miami, Hotel Nuevo Waldorf, Somerset Hotel, Hotel Simone, Arrowhead Motel, Cherokee Motel, and many, many more. He gave them the name of the man in Mexico to whom he'd sold his own 1940 Chevrolet, and confessed that he had stolen a newer model in Iowa. He described persons he and his partner had met: a Mexican widow, rich and sexy; Otto, a German “millionaire”; a “swish” pair of Negro prizefighters driving a “swish” lavender Cadillac; the blind proprietor of a Florida rattlesnake farm; a dying old man and his grandson; and others. And when he had finished he sat with folded arms and a pleased smile, as though waiting to be commended for the humor, the clarity, and the candor of his traveler’s tale.
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
Are you driving?” I asked Sam. “Nope. I plan to do some drinking,” Sam said. “You’re not old enough,” I reminded him. “Never stopped me before.” “Sam!” He halted and glared at me. “What? You gonna tattle to Mom and Dad?” Was I? No. But he didn’t know that. Besides, as irritating as my brother was, he was good for one thing: blackmail. And it was payback time for the snowball he’d hit me with yesterday. “Not if you make a contribution to the Kate-have-a-good-time fund.” “Ah, Kate, come on. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m a responsible drinker.” “How can you be responsible if you’re breaking the law?” “I don’t drive when I drink. No one gets hurt except me, if I happen to fall flat on my face.” “You get that drunk?” “I’ve got better things to do than discuss my life with you.” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. “How much?” “Twenty should do it.” “Five.” “Ten.” He held out the bill that had one of my favorite presidents on it. “You know, Kate, no one likes a snitch.” I snatched it from his fingers, folded it up, and shoved it into the front pocket of my jeans. “Payback’s a bitch, Brother.” “What?” “I wouldn’t have tattled. But I didn’t like getting hit with a snowball yesterday, either. So now we’re even.” He snapped his fingers. “Give it back.” “Nope. Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” “You don’t even know what that means.” “And I suppose you do.
Rachel Hawthorne (Love on the Lifts)
Brian and Avis deliver their stacks and try to refuse dinner, but the waiters bring them glasses of burgundy, porcelain plates with thin, peppery steaks redolent of garlic, scoops of buttery grilled Brussels sprouts, and a salad of beets, walnuts, and Roquefort. They drag a couple of lawn chairs to a quiet spot on the street and they balance the plates on their laps. Some ingredient in the air reminds Avis of the rare delicious trips they used to make to the Keys. Ten years after they'd moved to Miami they'd left Stanley and Felice with family friends and Avis and Brian drove to Key West on a sort of second honeymoon. She remembers how the land dropped back into distance: wetlands, marsh, lazy-legged egrets flapping over the highway, tangled, sulfurous mangroves. And water. Steel-blue plains, celadon translucence. She and Brian had rented a vacation cottage in Old Town, ate small meals of fruit, cheese, olives, and crackers, swam in the warm, folding water. Each day stirring into the next, talking about nothing more complicated than the weather, spotting a shark off the pier, a mysterious constellation lowering in the west. Brian sheltered under a celery-green umbrella while Avis swam: the water formed pearls on the film of her sunscreen. They watched the night's rise, an immense black curtain from the ocean. Up and down the beach they hear the sounds of the outdoor bars, sandy patios switching on, distant strains of laughter, bursts of music. Someone played an instrument- quick runs of notes, arpeggios floating in soft ovals like soap bubbles over the darkening water.
Diana Abu-Jaber (Birds of Paradise)
His world turned on its head for the second time at precisely ten eighteen p.m. He’d been taken into custody a little under ninety minutes earlier, but that had nothing to do with it. They did the job efficiently, boxing him in, two in front and two behind. Four men, swift and grim, clearly plainclothes law enforcement officers. One of the men in front of him stepped close, said something. He shook his head. ‘Non parlo Croato. Solo Italiano.’ The man nodded as if unsurprised, tipped his head: come with us. He followed the front pair to the unmarked saloon parked up on the kerb ahead. Before he got in the back he glimpsed the glitter of light off the restless water of the bay, the masts of the boats shifting in the embrace of the marina at the bottom of the hill. He glanced at his watch. Five past nine. Fifty-five minutes to go. * The room was a cliché: ivory linoleum curling at the edges, dusty fluorescent lighting strips with one bulb flickering like an eyelid with a tic, cheap wooden tabletop with metal legs bolted to the floor. The smell was of tobacco and sour sweat. He sat facing the door, alone. After seventeen minutes, at nine forty-four by the clock on the wall, the door opened. A woman came in, dark-haired, with glasses like an owl’s eyes. Two of the men who had picked him up followed her in. One seated himself in the chair. The other leaned against the wall, arms folded. She stood across the table from him, his passport grasped loosely between her fingertips like a soiled rag. Without introduction she said, her Italian accented but fluent, ‘Alberto Manta, of Lugano, Switzerland. Arrived in Zagreb on September second. Checked in at Hotel Neboder here in Rijeka the same day.
Tim Stevens (Ratcatcher (John Purkiss, #1))
And for the four remaining days - the ninety-six remaining hours - we mapped out a future away from everything we knew. When the walls of the map were breached, we gave one another courage to build them again. And we imagined our home an old stone barn filled with junk and wine and paintings, surrounded by fields of wildflowers and bees. I remember our final day in the villa. We were supposed to be going that evening, taking the sleeper back to England. I was on edge, a mix of nerves and excitement, looking out to see if he made the slightest move toward leaving, but he didn’t. Toiletries remained on the bathroom shelves, clothes stayed scattered across the floor. We went to the beach as usual, lay side by side in our usual spot. The heat was intense and we said little, certainly nothing of our plans to move up to Provence, to the lavender and light. To the fields of sunflowers. I looked at my watch. We were almost there. It was happening. I kept saying to myself, he’s going to do it. I left him on the bed dozing, and went out to the shop to get water and peaches. I walked the streets as if they were my new home. Bonjour to everyone, me walking barefoot, oh so confident, free. And I imagined how we’d go out later to eat, and we’d celebrate at our bar. And I’d phone Mabel and Mabel would say, I understand. I raced back to the villa, ran up the stairs and died. Our rucksacks were open on the bed, our shoes already packed away inside. I watched him from the door. He was silent, his eyes red. He folded his clothes meticulously, dirty washing in separate bags. I wanted to howl. I wanted to put my arms around him, hold him there until the train had left the station. I’ve got peaches and water for the journey, I said. Thank you, he said. You think of everything. Because I love you, I said. He didn’t look at me. The change was happening too quickly. Is there a taxi coming? My voice was weak, breaking. Madame Cournier’s taking us. I went to open the window, the scent of tuberose strong. I lit a cigarette and looked at the sky. An airplane cast out a vivid orange wake that ripped across the violet wash. And I remember thinking, how cruel it was that our plans were out there somewhere. Another version of our future, out there somewhere, in perpetual orbit. The bottle of pastis? he said. I smiled at him. You take it, I said. We lay in our bunks as the sleeper rattled north and retraced the journey of ten days before. The cabin was dark, an occasional light from the corridor bled under the door. The room was hot and airless, smelled of sweat. In the darkness, he dropped his hand down to me and waited. I couldn’t help myself, I reached up and held it. Noticed my fingertips were numb. We’ll be OK, I remember thinking. Whatever we are, we’ll be OK. We didn’t see each other for a while back in Oxford. We both suffered, I know we did, but differently. And sometimes, when the day loomed gray, I’d sit at my desk and remember the heat of that summer. I’d remember the smells of tuberose that were carried by the wind, and the smell of octopus cooking on the stinking griddles. I’d remember the sound of our laughter and the sound of a doughnut seller, and I’d remember the red canvas shoes I lost in the sea, and the taste of pastis and the taste of his skin, and a sky so blue it would defy anything else to be blue again. And I’d remember my love for a man that almost made everything possible./
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
I…I still--” “Can’t believe it?” Rafe shrugged. “I’m guessing a regular person wouldn’t have survived. But we’re part cat so maybe falls aren’t so bad. I think I lost one of my nine lives though.” He twisted to look at the stab wound. “Maybe two.” I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him, and when I did, I knew he was real--the heat of him, the smell of him, the feel of him, the taste of him so incredibly real that it surpassed anything my memory could conjure up. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back, and it was like every other amazing kiss he’d given me, multiplied ten-fold. I kissed him until I couldn’t breathe, and then I kissed him a little more, until I had to pull back, gasping. “I have got to die more often,” he said. And he grinned, that incredible blaze of a grin that made me kiss him again. When we finally pulled apart, he brushed his palm over my still-damp cheeks. “Your parents are okay, Maya,” he murmured. “They’ve just left. The whole town left.” “I know. That’s not…” I stepped back, out of his arms, and looked over at the fallen tree. “I came out here and I saw that, and I remembered us…You…” He looked startled and…something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but definitely startled, like he hadn’t ever thought I’d be crying over him. “I dreamed you were alive,” I said. “You were calling me and you needed help, and I wanted to go but…” I swallowed. “It didn’t make sense. I told myself you couldn’t be, so I didn’t, and I’m sorry if--” “You wouldn’t have found me, Maya. If I called you, it was only in my dreams, when I was out cold. I never expected you to come after me. I should be dead.” He tugged me into his arms. “I’m just really, really glad I’m not.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
Hey." Her host grabbed her by the back of the jacket and hauled her upright. "I'm not fishing you out again if you fall overboard." Their eyes met. He wasn't kidding. "Not exactly a people person, are you?" she said. He grimaced and released her. Tally turned back to the rail, oddly disconcerted by his touch, even through the jacket. She didn't lean as far out this time, but she strained to see in the growing darkness. Tally suspected Arnaud's boat was probably Trevor Church's boat, and if that was the case, her father was not only going to be absolutely livid about the loss of property, he was also going to blow his stack if she didn't at least make an attempt to find Bouchard. Damn it. "I'll pay you to help me find him," Tally said briskly, turning to face him. An eyebrow rose. "Yeah? How much?" "A thousand dollars." He didn't so much as blink at the offer. "Are you for real? Okay, two thousand." "Only two? He couldn't've been very important to you." She considered Bouchard a slimy turd, a necessary evil. On the other hand, the pirate wasn't going to risk his life and boat if he knew she felt that way. "Five? Ten? Twenty thousand? How much will it take?" "How much you got on you?" She held her arms out. "Not a whole hell of a lot. But I have traveler's checks back at-I'll buy your boat from you." She narrowed her eyes when he didn't answer. This was nuts. She was standing out here in the middle of a typhoon negotiating with a pirate to save the life of a man she'd just as soon drown herself. "You rat. Okay. I'll pay you to captain it. And I'll pay you to help me find Arnaud." He folded his arms across his massive, hairy chest. "Hmmm." "Is that a yes?" He paused for so long, she thought he'd gone into a coma with his eyes-eye-open.
Cherry Adair (In Too Deep (T-FLAC, #4; Wright Family, #3))
Marlboro Man opened the passenger door of the semi and allowed me to climb out in front of him, while Tim exited the driver-side door to see us off. That wasn’t so bad, I thought as I made my way down the steps. Aside from the manicure remark and my sweating problem, meeting Marlboro Man’s brother had gone remarkably well. I looked okay that evening, had managed a couple of witty remarks, and had worn just the right clothing to conceal my nervousness. Life was good. Then, because the Gods of Embarrassment seemed hell-bent on making me look bad, I lost my balance on the last step, hooking the heel of my stupid black boots on the grate of the step and awkwardly grabbing the handlebar to save myself from falling to my death onto the gravel driveway below. But though I stopped myself from wiping out, my purse flew off my arm and landed, facedown, on Tim’s driveway, violently spilling its contents all over the gravel. Only a woman can know the dreaded feeling of spilling her purse in the company of men. Suddenly my soul was everywhere, laid bare for Marlboro Man and his brother to see: year-old lip gloss, a leaky pen, wadded gum wrappers, and a hairbrush loaded up with hundreds, if not thousands, of my stringy auburn hairs. And men don’t understand wads of long hair--for all they knew, I had some kind of follicular disorder and was going bald. There were no feminine products, but there was a package of dental floss, with a messy, eight-inch piece dangling from the opening and blowing in the wind. And there were Tic Tacs. Lots and lots of Tic Tacs. Orange ones. Then there was the money. Loose ones and fives and tens and twenties that had been neatly folded together and tucked into a pocket inside my purse were now blowing wildly around Tim’s driveway, swept away by the strengthening wind from an approaching storm. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the horror of watching Marlboro Man, my new love, and his brother, Tim, whom I’d just met, chivalrously dart around Tim’s driveway, trying valiantly to save my wayward dollars, all because I couldn’t keep my balance on the steps of their shiny new semi. I left my car at Tim’s for the evening, and when we pulled away in Marlboro Man’s pickup, I stared out the window, shaking my head and apologizing for being such a colossal dork. When we got to the highway, Marlboro Man glanced at me as he made a right-hand turn. “Yeah,” he said, consoling me. “But you’re my dork.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
And what is the popular color for gowns this Season?” he asked with a smile when it became necessary to announce himself. She gave a little start, and when she raised her face to look up at him, her cheeks were pink, her eyes wide. She looked, for lack of a better comparison, like a child caught doing something she oughtn’t. “Oh! Hello, Grey.” She glanced away. “Um, blue seems to be very favorable this year.” Arching a brow, he nodded at the periodical in her hand. “Beg pardon. I thought you were reading a ladies’ magazine.” “I am,” she replied with a coy smile. “But fashion is not one of its main areas of interest.” With an expression like hers-very much like the Cheshire cat in that book by Lewis Carroll-he doubted it was an article on housekeeping that put such becoming color in her cheeks. “May I?” he asked, holding out his hand. Her grip on the magazine tightened, reluctant to give it up. “Only if you promise not to tell Mama you saw me reading it.” Oh, this was trouble. Still, it was none of his business what a grown woman of three and twenty read. He was curious, that was all. “I promise.” She hesitated, then put the pages into his hand. Placing his fingers between the thin sheaves to mark her spot, Grey flipped to the cover. Christ on a pony! The magazine looked fairly harmless-the sketch on the front showed a demure young lady in a stylish gown and hat, sitting on a park bench. Only upon closer inspection could one notice that the object of her attention-and rapturous smile-was the young man bathing in the lake just on the edge of the page. He was bare-chested-quite possibly bare everywhere, but that key part of anatomy was carefully hidden with a line of text that read, “Ten ways to keep a gentleman at home-and in bed.” He didn’t want to see what she was reading. He had heard of this magazine before. Voluptuous was a racy publication for women, filled with erotic stories, advice, and articles about sexual relationships, how to conduct oneself to avoid scandal, etc. He could take her to task for reading it, but what would be the point? No doubt the information in it would serve her wisely someday. He gave the magazine back to her. “I have to confess, I’m a little surprised to find you reading such…material.” She shrugged. “I was curious. My parents were so happy in their marriage, so very much the opposite of most of what I’ve heard. If I’m to make a match as good as theirs, I need to know as much as I can about how to have a satisfying marriage.” Grey almost groaned. The image of Rose “satisfying” herself filled his mind with such clarity it was difficult to remember he’d never actually seen such a delightful sight. His body stiffened at the delectable images his mind conjured, and he had to fold his hands in front of him to hide his growing arousal.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
The Raisin meditation2 Set aside five to ten minutes when you can be alone, in a place, and at a time, when you will not be disturbed by the phone, family or friends. Switch off your cell phone, so it doesn’t play on your mind. You will need a few raisins (or other dried fruit or small nuts). You’ll also need a piece of paper and a pen to record your reactions afterward. Your task will be to eat the fruit or nuts in a mindful way, much as you ate the chocolate earlier (see p. 55). Read the instructions below to get an idea of what’s required, and only reread them if you really need to. The spirit in which you do the meditation is more important than covering every instruction in minute detail. You should spend about twenty to thirty seconds on each of the following eight stages: 1. Holding Take one of the raisins (or your choice of dried fruit or nuts) and hold it in the palm of your hand, or between your fingers and thumb. Focusing on it, approach it as if you have never seen anything like it before. Can you feel the weight of it in your hand? Is it casting a shadow on your palm? 2. Seeing Take the time really to see the raisin. Imagine you have never seen one before. Look at it with great care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it. Examine the highlights where the light shines; the darker hollows, the folds and ridges. 3. Touching Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture. How does it feel between the forefinger and thumb of the other hand? 4. Smelling Now, holding it beneath your nose, see what you notice with each in-breath. Does it have a scent? Let it fill your awareness. And if there is no scent, or very little, notice this as well. 5. Placing Slowly take the object to your mouth and notice how your hand and arm know exactly where to put it. And then gently place it in your mouth, noticing what the tongue does to “receive” it. Without chewing, simply explore the sensations of having it on your tongue. Gradually begin to explore the object with your tongue, continuing for thirty seconds or more if you choose. 6. Chewing When you’re ready, consciously take a bite into the raisin and notice the effects on the object, and in your mouth. Notice any tastes that it releases. Feel the texture as your teeth bite into it. Continue slowly chewing it, but do not swallow it just yet. Notice what is happening in the mouth. 7. Swallowing See if you can detect the first intention to swallow as it arises in your mind, experiencing it with full awareness before you actually swallow. Notice what the tongue does to prepare it for swallowing. See if you can follow the sensations of swallowing the raisin. If you can, consciously sense it as it moves down into your stomach. And if you don’t swallow it all at one time, consciously notice a second or even a third swallow, until it has all gone. Notice what the tongue does after you have swallowed. 8. Aftereffects Finally, spend a few moments registering the aftermath of this eating. Is there an aftertaste? What does the absence of the raisin feel like? Is there an automatic tendency to look for another? Now take a moment to write down anything that you noticed when you were doing the practice. Here’s what some people who’ve attended our courses said: “The smell for me was amazing; I’d never noticed that before.” “I felt pretty stupid, like I was in art school or something.” “I thought how ugly they looked … small and wrinkled, but the taste was very different from what I would normally have thought it tasted like. It was quite nice actually.” “I tasted this one raisin more than the twenty or so I usually stuff into my mouth without thinking.
J. Mark G. Williams (Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World)
Evening,” Zane said. It was a pretty wordy opening for him. Phoebe debated inviting him in, then decided it would be too much like an offer to sleep with him. Instead of stepping back and pointing to the bed, which was really what she wanted to do, she moved down the hallway, shutting the door behind her, and did her best to look unimpressed. “Hi, Zane. How are the preparations coming?” He gave her one of his grunts, then shrugged. She took that to mean, “Great. And thanks so much for asking.” They weren’t standing all that close, but she was intensely aware of him. Despite the fact that he’d probably been up at dawn and that it was now close to ten, he still smelled good. He wasn’t wearing his cowboy hat, so she could see his dark hair. Stubble defined his jaw. She wanted to rub her hands over the roughness, then maybe hook her leg around his hip and slide against him like the sex-starved fool she was turning out to be. “Maya’ll be here tomorrow,” he said. “Elaine Mitchell is bringing her out to the ranch with all of the greenhorns in her tourist bus.” She had to clear her throat before speaking. “Maya called me about an hour ago to let me know she’d be getting here about three.” He folded his arms across his broad chest, then leaned sideways against the doorjamb beside her. So very close. Her attention fixed on the strong column of his neck, and a certain spot just behind his jaw that she had a sudden urge to kiss. Would it be warm? Would she feel his pulse against her lips? “She doesn’t need to know what happened,” Zane said. Phoebe couldn’t quite make sense of his words, and he must have read the confusion in her eyes. They were alone, it was night and the man seemed to be looming above her in the hallway. She’d never thought she would enjoy being loomed over, but it was actually very nice. She had the feeling that if she suddenly saw a mouse or something, she could shriek and jump, and he would catch her. Of course he would think she was an idiot, but that was beside the point. “Between us,” he explained. “Outside. She doesn’t need to know about the kiss.” A flood of warmth rushed to her face as she understood that he regretted kissing her. She instinctively stepped backward, only to bump her head against the closed bedroom door. Before she had time to be embarrassed about her lack of grace or sophistication, he groaned, reached for her hips and drew her toward him. “She doesn’t need to know about this one, either.” His lips took hers with a gentle but commanding confidence. Her hands settled on either side of the strong neck she’d been eyeing only seconds ago. His skin was as warm as she’d imagined it would be. The cords of his muscles moved against her fingers as he lifted his head to a better angle. His hands were still, except his thumbs, which brushed her hip bones, slow and steady. His fingers splayed over the narrowest part of her waist and nearly met at the small of her back. She wished she could feel his fingertips against her skin, but her thin cotton top got in the way. He kept her body at a frustrating distance from his. In fact, when she tried to move closer, he held her away even as he continued the kiss. Lips on lips. Hot and yielding. She waited for him to deepen the kiss, but he didn’t. And she couldn’t summon the courage to do it herself. Finally, he drew back and rested his forehead against hers for a long moment. “Do me a favor,” he said. “Try to be a little more resistible. I don’t think I can take a week of this.” Then he turned on his heel, walked to a door at the end of the long hallway, and went inside. She stood in place, her fingers pressed against her still-tingling lips. More than a minute passed before she realized she was smiling.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
In April, 1926, France and the United States finally negotiated a war debt settlement at forty cents on the dollar. The [French] budget was at last fully balanced. Still the franc kept falling. By May, the exchange rate stood at over thirty to the dollar. With a currency in free-fall, prices now rising at 2% a month - over 25% a year - and the Government apparently impotent, everyone made the obvious comparison with the situation in Germany four years earlier. In fact, there was no real parallel. Germany in 1922 had lost all control of its budget deficit and in that single year expanded the money supply ten fold. By contrast, the French had largely solved their fiscal problems and its money supply was under control. The main trouble was the fear that the deep divisions between the right and left had made France ungovernable. The specter of chronic political chaos associated with revolving door governments and finance ministers was exacerbated by the uncertainty over the governments ability to fund itself given the overhang of more than $10 billion in short term debt. It was this psychology of fear, a generalized loss of nerve, that seemed to have gripped French investors and was driving the downward spiral of the franc. The risk was that international speculators, those traditional bugaboos of the Left, would create a self-fulfilling meltdown as they shorted the currency in the hope of repurchasing it later at a lower price thereby compounding the very downward trend that they were trying to exploit. It was the obverse of a bubble where excessive optimism translates into rising prices which then induces even more buying. Now excessive pessimism was translating into falling prices which were inducing even more selling. In the face of this all embracing miasma of gloom neither the politicians nor the financial establishment seemed to have any clue what to do.
Liaquat Ahamed (Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World)
They play strange games, games I don't recognize. They pull buttons off their clothes and exchange them back and forth, palming and concealing them and guessing which hands they're held in. Or they arrange themselves in a strange spiral pattern, marching in a loop that folds back on itself, while someone standing outside it taps people out, seemingly at random.
Michael Montoure (Counting From Ten)
When she was settled in the car beside Tyler, Maddy folded her hands on her lap. "I've got two things I want to ask you." "Sure. Shoot." "If I were, like, ten years older and had actual breasts, would you go for me?" "Jesus, Maddy." "I don't have a crush on you or anything. I sort of did when we first moved here, but I got over it. You're too old for me, and I'm not ready for a serious relationship, or sex." "Damn right you're not." "But when I am ready, I want to know if a guy would go for me. Theoretically.
Nora Roberts (The Villa)
on cable. "Could it be? Yes, it is! Broccoli kicks the bucket. A Christmas miracle. God bless us, every one." He's on his knees with his hands folded in prayer, looking up at the ceiling. "Alright wise guy, help your sister out and clean it up." Ryan is not as amused. It gets dark early this time of year. By five o'clock it's pitch black and the lights are on outside while the curtains inside the house are drawn shut. When I was much younger last year, I would try playing out in the backyard after the sun went down and I kept running head first into the wooden fence. If I remember right, it probably took about ten collisions
Patrick Yearly (A Lonely Dog on Christmas)
Yet before another ten years had passed, he was dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca, and the head of a New World religion which was to sweep to the Danube and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it. That impetus was three­fold: the power of words, the efficacy of prayer and man’s kinship with God.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition)
[regarding a toothache] It made me realize how much one's mind is at the mercy of one's physical well-being, as at times I felt quite demented. My admiration for people who withhold information under torture has increased ten-fold since this ghastly night, for I am quite certain that even the threat of such pain would be enough to make me blab put any secret, and even to make up further disclosures if I felt that these might mitigate the pain at all. Truly a most shattering revelation.
Miss Read (Village Diary (Chronicles of Fairacre, #2))
Weiss shows that the U.S. approach generates far more social wealth. True, the information is initially provided for free, but a thriving private weather industry has sprung up which takes the publicly funded data as its raw material and then adds value to it. The U.S. weather risk management industry, for example, is more than ten times bigger than the European one, employing more people, producing more valuable products, generating more social wealth. Another study estimates that Europe invests 9.5 billion Euros in weather data and gets approximately 68 billion back in economic value—in everything from more efficient farming and construction decisions to better holiday planning—a sevenfold multiplier. The United States, by contrast, invests twice as much—19 billion—but gets back a return of 750 billion Euros, a thirty-nine-fold multiplier.
Once upon a time, there lived a man who had a terrible passion for baked beans. He loved them, but they always had an embarrassing and somewhat lively reaction on him. One day he met a girl and fell in love. When it was apparent that they would marry, he thought to himself 'She'll never go for me carrying on like that,' so he made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans, and shortly after that they got married.      A few months later, on the way home from work, his car broke down and since they lived in the country, he called his wife and told her he would be late because he had to walk. On his way home, he passed a small cafe and the wonderful aroma of baked beans overwhelmed him. Since he still had several miles to walk he figured he could walk off any ill affects before he got home. So he went in and ordered, and before leaving had three extra-large helpings of baked beans. All the way home he farted. He 'putted' down one hill and 'putt-putted' up the next. By the time he arrived home he felt reasonably safe.      His wife met him at the door and seemed somewhat excited. She exclaimed, 'Darling, I have the most wonderful surprise for you for dinner tonight!' She put a blindfold on him, and led him to his chair at the head of the table and made him promise not to peek. At this point he was beginning to feel another one coming on. Just as she was about to remove the blindfold, the telephone rang. She again made him promise not to peek until she returned, and she went to answer the phone.       While she was gone, he seized the opportunity. He shifted his weight to one leg and let go. It was not only loud, but *ripe* as a rotten egg.        He had a hard time breathing, so he felt for his napkin and fanned the air about him. He had just started to feel better, when another urge came on. He raised his leg and 'rrriiiipppp!' It sounded like a diesel engine revving, and smelled worse. To keep from gagging, he tried fanning his arms a while, hoping the smell would dissipate. Things had just about returned to normal when he felt another urge coming. He shifted his weight to his other leg and let go. This was a real blue ribbon winner; the windows rattled, the dishes on the table shook and a minute later the flowers on the table were dead. While keeping an ear tuned in on the conversation in the hallway, and keeping his promise of staying blindfolded, he carried on like this for the next ten minutes, farting and fanning them each time with his napkin.      When he heard the 'phone farewells' (indicating the end of his loneliness and freedom) he neatly laid his napkin on his lap and folded his hands on top of it. Smiling contentedly, he was the picture of innocence when his wife walked in. Apologizing for taking so long, she asked if he had peeked at the dinner. After assuring her he had not, she removed the blindfold and yelled, 'Surprise!'      To his shock and horror, there were twelve dinner guests seated around the table for his surprise birthday party.
E. King (Best Adult Jokes Ever)
a long line of men, each with a torch, all dressed in the finery of the Highland chieftains. They were barbarous and splendid, decked in grouse feathers, the silver of swords and dirks gleaming red by the torchlight, picked out amid the folds of tartan cloth. The pipes stopped abruptly, and the first of the men strode into the clearing and stopped before the stands. He raised his torch above his head and shouted, “The Camerons are here!” Loud whoops of delight rang out from the stands, and he threw the torch into the kerosene-soaked wood, which went up with a roar, in a pillar of fire ten feet high. Against the blinding sheet of flame, another man stepped out, and called, “The MacDonalds are here!” Screams and yelps from those in the crowd that claimed kinship with clan MacDonald, and then— “The MacLachlans are here!” “The MacGillivrays are here!” She was so entranced by the spectacle that she was only dimly aware of Roger. Then another man stepped out and cried, “The MacKenzies are here!” “Tulach Ard!” bellowed Roger, making her jump. “What was that?” she asked. “That,” he said, grinning, “is the war cry of clan MacKenzie.” “Sounded like it.” “The Campbells are here!” There must have been a lot of Campbells; the response shook the bleachers. As though that was the signal he had been waiting for, Roger stood up and flung his plaid over his shoulder. “I’ll meet you afterward by the dressing rooms, all right?” She nodded, and he bent suddenly and kissed her. “Just in case,” he said. “The Frasers’ cry is Caisteal Dhuni!” She watched him go, climbing down the bleachers like a mountain goat. The smell of woodsmoke filled the night air, mixing with the smaller fragrance of tobacco from cigarettes in the crowd. “The MacKays are here!” “The MacLeods are here!” “The Farquarsons are here!” Her chest felt tight, from the smoke and from emotion. The clans had died at Culloden—or had they? Yes, they had; this was no more than memory, than the calling up of ghosts; none of the people shouting so enthusiastically owed kinship to each other, none of them lived any longer by the claims of laird and land, but … “The Frasers are here!” Sheer panic gripped her, and her hand closed tight on the clasp of her bag. No, she thought. Oh, no. I’m not. Then the moment passed, and she could breathe again, but jolts of adrenaline still thrilled through her blood. “The Grahams are here!” “The Inneses are here!” The Ogilvys, the Lindsays, the Gordons … and then finally, the echoes of the last shout died. Brianna held the bag on her lap, gripped tight, as though to keep its contents from escaping like the jinn from a lamp. How could she? she thought, and then, seeing Roger come into the light, fire on his head and his bodhran in his hand, thought again, How could she help it?
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
Did you know he named his pistols?” she asked. He felt his jaw begin to tick and immediately forced himself to relax. “I think I’ve read that before.” “Well, I just read it recently. As if having a boy pistol and a girl pistol wasn’t bad enough, he goes and names them. Odysseus and Penelope.” She laughed. A full-throated, from-the-belly laugh. “But what can you expect from somebody named Lucious?” Over his four years as a Ranger, he’d traveled seventy-four thousand miles, made two hundred scouts, and one hundred eighty-two arrests. He’d endured cold, hunger, and fatigue without a murmur. He’d been said to have the eyes of a fox, the ears of a wolf, and the ability to follow scent like a hound. Yet this tiny bit of fluff could throw him off-kilter like no other. He counted to ten. “What’s wrong with the name Lucious?” She looked at him, incredulous. “What’s wrong with Lucious? It’s . . . it’s . . . I don’t know . . . silly, don’t you think? Sounds like luscious.” He was named after his father. The father whose life had been senselessly snuffed out by Mother Nature. Carrying his dad’s name was a great privilege and a source of pride for Luke. How dare she make fun of it. Anger simmering, he twisted the wires together and forced himself to respond as if he had nothing personal at stake. “Don’t guess I ever thought about it. Can’t say the name’s ever bothered me, though.” “That’s probably because it isn’t yours. I’m sure if it were, you’d think differently.” “Maybe so.” Picking up a cloth on the switchboard, he wiped his hands. “Did you get a look at this Lucious fellow?” “I did.” He raised a brow. “And was he luscious?” “Ha!” Folding the paper, she tossed it on the desk. “Hardly. If anybody was luscious, it was Frank Comer.
Deeanne Gist (Love on the Line)
When I returned from the concert I wrote, in my very best hand, a letter to Flauvic requesting the favor of his advice on a matter of fashion. I sent it that night, and to my surprise, an answer awaited me when I woke in the morning. In fact, two answers awaited: one, the plain paper I had grown used to seeing from my Unknown, and the second, a beautifully folded and sealed sheet of imported linen paper. This second one I opened first, to find only a line, but Flauvic’s handwriting was exquisite: He was entirely at my disposal, and I was welcome to consult him at any time. The prospect was daunting and fascinating at the same time. Resolving to get that done directly after breakfast, I turned eagerly to the letter from the Unknown: I can agree with your assessment of the ideal courtship, but I believe you err when you assume that everyone at Court has known the difference from age ten--or indeed, any age. There are those who will never perceive the difference, and then there are some who are aware to some degree of the difference but choose not to heed it. I need hardly add that the motivation here is usually lust for money or power, more than for the individual’s personal charms. But I digress: To return to your subject, do you truly believe, then, that those who court must find themselves of one mind in all things? Must they study deeply and approve each other’s views on important subjects before they can risk contemplating marriage? Well, I had to sit down and answer that. I scrawled out two pages of thoughts, each following rapidly on the heels of its predecessor, until I discovered that the morning was already advancing.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
After I watched Newton disappear down the hallway, I took the folded paper out of my pocket. It was the survey. What has Shakespeare done for you? He had written, “Shakespeare saved my life.
Laura Bates (Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard)
Moments later, a particularly harsh scream came from above, followed by the thin, lusty wail of a child.  Charles dropped his glass and bolted for the stairs, taking them three at a time as he sprinted to his wife's aid. In his wake, Gareth and Lucien merely exchanged amused glances. "A girl," said Gareth.  "I'll bet you ten pounds on it." "No, no, Gareth.  It will be a boy.  It has to be a boy.  I hope to God it's a boy, since it seems that the next heir to Blackheath is going to have to come down through Charles, not me." "Come now, Luce, you have plenty of time to marry and get an heir of your own." Lucien arched a brow.  "What, and put myself through the hell that you two go through every time you become a father?  I think not . . ." Upstairs, Charles was running headlong down the corridor toward the closed door of Amy's room.  Nerissa stood just outside, arms folded, barring his way.  She saw his panicked face, his wild eyes, as from behind the door, the baby's wailing intensified.  "Really, Charles.  Are you all right?" "Never mind me, are they all right?!" His sister smiled with infuriating sweetness.  "Why don't you go in and see for yourself?" He lunged for the door. Nerissa grabbed the handle, laughing.  "Ah!  Sedately, brother dear!"  He willed himself to calm down, his hands, his body, his very nerves, shaking.  His throat felt dry and he feared his knees were going to give out and he had to take several gulping breaths to get himself under control. Nerissa, smiling, opened the door. And there was Amy, propped up on pillows, her face pale, wan, exhausted — radiant.  Juliet stood beside the bed, sponging her brow and grinning as the midwife wrapped the tiny, squalling bundle in a blanket and placed it on Amy's chest.  The old woman raised her head as she saw the lord of Lynmouth standing there, looking as though the gods had just struck him to stone with a bolt of lightning. "Congratulations, m'lord.  You 'ave a little girl." Charles
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
My, my, have you ever seen such a nauseatingly tender, sickeningly domestic, scene?" drawled a voice that was, despite the words, ripe with amusement.  Turning, Charles saw Lucien, with Gareth, Nerissa, and Juliet standing beside him.  "Congratulations.  And what will our newest de Montforte be named, eh?" "Mary," said Charles, getting to his feet.  "After both our mothers." "Mary Elizabeth," Amy added, gazing at her husband and daughter. "A girl, then," murmured Lucien. "A girl."  Charles came forward, holding a fold of the blanket back so that everyone could see his daughter.  He was beaming with excitement.  Bursting with pride.  "Isn't she just beautiful?  Have you ever seen anything so precious?  Look at her little fingers!  Look at that head of black hair!  Look how perfect, how sweet, how exquisite she is —" Lucien shook his head, secretly amused that something so tiny could reduce not only a de Montforte, but an army major, to this.  With a heavy sigh, he raised a brow and looked at the Wild One.  "It would seem, my dear Gareth, that I owe you ten pounds after all," he murmured, with a rueful smile that could not disguise his delight in having yet another niece to spoil.  "Though how you knew it would be a girl is beyond me." A sudden gust of wind lashed the window, peppering it with rain.  "That's how I knew," said Gareth, handing Gabriel to Juliet and picking up a squirming Charlotte.  "With a storm on the make, how could we have expected anything but a female!" Laughter rang around the room at his wry observation.  Congratulations and well-wishes were said, and Mary Elizabeth de Montforte was passed around so that all could see her.  After inspecting his new niece, Lucien, feeling more than a little smug for his part in getting yet another brother safely married off, moved to the door. "I say, Luce, where are you going?" Charles asked. Lucien smiled.  "Well, someone's got to tell Andrew,
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
George Washington so liked Edward Savage’s painting of “The President and His Family, the full size of life,” that he ordered “four stipple engravings” in “handsome, but not costly, gilt frames, with glasses,” and hung one of his purchases over the fireplace mantel in the small dining room at Mount Vernon. As the Washington family—George and Martha, and two of Martha’s orphaned grandchildren, George Washington (“Washy”) and Eleanor (“Nelly”) Custis—took their daily repast, Edward Savage’s tableau of “The President and His Family” looked down upon them. It is likely that Washington favored the portrait above many others because of its intimacy and its affirmation of the future. The family gathers about a table at Mount Vernon, George seated at the left, opposite his wife, Martha. Washy, the younger of the two grandchildren, stands in the left foreground, while Nelly stands at the right in the middle ground. Washington rests his right hand upon the boy’s shoulder; Washy, in turn, holds a compass in his right hand, which he rests upon a globe, in a stance suggesting that succeeding generations of the family were destined to spread the ideals of liberty and democracy around the world. In the background, framed by large pillars and a swagged curtain, Savage presents a glimpse, as he said in a note, of “a view of thirty miles down the Potomac River.” On the table at the portrait’s center rests Andrew Ellicott’s map of the new federal seat of government. The family appears to be unrolling the document; Washington holds it flat with his left arm and sword, while Nelly and Martha steady it on the right. With her folded fan, Martha gestures to “the grand avenue,” as Savage called it, that connects the Capitol with the White House. In the right middle ground stands one of the chief contradictions of the new democracy, a nameless black male servant, part of the retinue of more than three hundred slaves the Washingtons depended upon for their comfort, security, and prosperity. Dressed in the colors of Mount Vernon livery, a gray coat over a salmon red waistcoat, he possesses an almost princely quality. His black, combed-back hair frames his dark face with its prominent nose. His unknowable eye impassively takes in the scene. He keeps his left hand enigmatically concealed in his waistcoat; his collar flamboyantly mirrors Washington’s across from him. The slave must remain a shadow, unobtrusive, unassuming, unremarkable, almost a part of the frame for the Potomac. Only the slave’s destiny seems apart from those gathered about the table examining the plans, yet from the beginning the fates of both slavery and the new city were inextricably intertwined. The nameless man’s story, along with the stories of tens of thousands of others, was very much a part of the plot unfolding on the Potomac in the 1790s. The consequences of involuntary servitude would affect and effect Washington’s development to the present day.
Tom Lewis (Washington: A History of Our National City)
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold [are not on this continent]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd [all of my righteous followers will ultimately come together with me in celestial glory]. We know from 3 Nephi 15:21 that Jesus was referring to the Nephites on the American continent when He said, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;” (verse 16 above). We know also that there were yet other sheep besides the Nephites. To the Nephites, Jesus said, “I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem” (3 Nephi 16:1). As we read 3 Nephi 17:4, we are told that Jesus was referring to the lost ten tribes.
David J. Ridges (The New Testament Made Easier, Part 1: Mathew, Mark, Luke & John (The Gospel Studies Series))
watched as Harkness sat down and had a microphone clipped to his lapel. Hi Barker was flitting about, putting his guests at ease; Cary was given a folding chair just out of camera range. The whole group was no more than twelve feet from where Stone stood. “You’re sure they can’t see us?” he asked the director. “Not a chance,” Jimmy replied. “I checked it out earlier.” Two other people, a man and a young woman, came into the control room now and took seats on either side of Jimmy, paying no attention to Stone and Dino. “Ten minutes,” the woman said, looking up at a clock above the row of monitors. Stone watched the monitors as
Stuart Woods (New York Dead (Stone Barrington, #1))
When everything went wrong at once, it felt like folding origami in a hurricane.
Lola Dodge (Angel (Manhattan Ten, #4))