Walk Like A King Quotes

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We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Just go on dancing with me like this forever and I'll never tire. We'll scrape our shoe on the stars and hang upside down from the moon.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact...that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance; We've learned to fly the air like birds, we've learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven't learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters...
Martin Luther King Jr.
With stumbling feet, he blindly walked somewhere, anywhere. When he got to the king's study, he looked over his shoulder and checked the carpet over which he'd trodden. No trail of his blood. Which, considering the way his chest was hurting, was a surprise. Sure as shit felt like he'd been shot in the heart.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
It's offense you maybe can't live with because it opens up a crack inside your thinking, and if you look down into it you see there are evil things down there, and they have little yellow eyes that don't blink, and there's a stink down there in that dark and after a while you think maybe there's a whole other universe where a square moon rises in the sky, and the stars laugh in cold voices, and some of the triangles have four sides, and some have five, and some have five raised to the fifth power of sides. In this universe there might grow roses which sing. Everything leads to everything, he would have told them if he could. Go to your church and listen to your stories about Jesus walking on the water, but if I saw a guy doing that I'd scream and scream and scream. Because it wouldn't look like a miracle to me. It would look like an offense.
Stephen King (It)
This was like walking the line between dream and sleep. The night-sharp balance of being asleep enough to dream and awake enough to remember what he wanted.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
I like places like this," he announced. I like old places too," Josh said, "but what's to like about a place like this?" The king spread his arms wide. "What do you see?" Josh made a face. "Junk. Rusted tractor, broken plow, old bike." Ahh...but I see a tractor that was once used to till these fields. I see the plow it once pulled. I see a bicycle carefully placed out of harm's way under a table." Josh slowly turned again, looking at the items once more. And i see these things and I wonder at the life of the person who carefully stored the precious tractor and plow in the barn out of the weather, and placed their bike under a homemade table." Why do you wonder?" Josh asked. "Why is it even important?" Because someone has to remember," Gilgamesh snapped, suddenly irritated. "Some one has to remember the human who rode the bike and drove the tractor, the person who tilled the fields, who was born and lived and died, who loved and laughed and cried, the person who shivered in the cold and sweated in the sun." He walked around the barn again, touching each item, until his palm were red with rust." It is only when no one remembers, that you are truely lost. That is the true death.
Michael Scott (The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3))
By faith you need to walk like a king, talk like a king, think like a king, dress like a king, smile like a king. Don’t go by what you see. Go by what you know. There is royalty in your DNA. You have the blood of a winner. You were created to reign in life.
Joel Osteen (I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life)
Walk to her. Take her hand. But his feet were leaden, and Dorian could do nothing except watch her. His skin flushed beneath his small black mask. He didn't know why, but seeing her made him feel like a man. She was something out of a dream- a dream in which he was not a spoiled young prince, but a king.
Sarah J. Maas
It's like practicing pole vaulting your entire life, and then getting to the olympics and saying, ‘what the hell did I want to jump over this stupid bar for?
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
So she's not with him?" "No." Otho shrugged. "That's strange." "Why?" Chaol had the sudden urge to strangle him. "Because it looks like he's in love with her," he said, and walked away. Chaol's eyes lost focus for a moment. Then Celaena laughed, and Dorian kept staring at her. The prince hadn't once taken his eyes off her. Dorian's expression was full of--something. Joy? Wonder? His shoulders were straight, his back erect. He looked like a man. Like a king.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Emeth came walking forward into the open strip of grass between the bonfire and the Stable. His eyes were shining, his face was solemn, his hand was on his sword-hilt, and he carried his head high. Jill felt like crying when she looked at his face. And Jewel whispered in the King's ear, "By the Lion's Mane, I almost love this young warrior, Calormene though he be. He is worthy of a better god than Tash.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
Just go on dancing with me like this forever, Garraty. And I'll never tire. We'll scrape our shoe on the stars and hang upside dowm from the moon.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
Garraty wondered how it would be, to lie in the biggest, dustiest library silence of all, dreaming endless, thoughtless dreams behind your gummed-down eyelids, dressed forever in your Sunday suit. No worries about money, success, fear, joy, pain, sorrow, sex, or love. Absolute zero. No father, mother, girlfriend, lover. The dead are orphans. No company but the silence like a moth's wing. An end to the agony of movement, to the long nightmare of going down the road. The body in peace, stillness, and order. The perfect darkness of death. How would that be? Just how would that be?
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
Among them is a renegade king, he who sired five royal heirs without ever unzipping his pants. A man to whom time has imparted great wisdom and an even greater waistline, whose thoughtless courage is rivalled only by his unquenchable thirst. At his shoulder walks a sorcerer, a cosmic conversationalist. Enemy of the incurable rot, absent chairman of combustive sciences at the university in Oddsford, and the only living soul above the age of eight to believe in owlbears. Look here at a warrior born, a scion of power and poverty whose purpose is manifold: to shatter shackles, to murder monarchs, and to demonstrate that even the forces of good must sometimes enlist the service of big, bad motherfuckers. His is an ancient soul destined to die young. And now comes the quiet one, the gentle giant, he who fights his battles with a shield. Stout as the tree that counts its age in aeons, constant as the star that marks true north and shines most brightly on the darkest nights. A step ahead of these four: our hero. He is the candle burnt down to the stump, the cutting blade grown dull with overuse. But see now the spark in his stride. Behold the glint of steel in his gaze. Who dares to stand between a man such as this and that which he holds dear? He will kill, if he must, to protect it. He will die, if that is what it takes. “Go get the boss,” says one guardsman to another. “This bunch looks like trouble.” And they do. They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on the hem of his robe. He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.
Nicholas Eames (Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1))
A daughter of a King of Ireland, heard A voice singing on a May Eve like this, And followed half awake and half asleep, Until she came into the Land of Faery, Where nobody gets old and godly and grave, Where nobody gets old and crafty and wise, Where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue. And she is still there, busied with a dance Deep in the dewy shadow of a wood, Or where stars walk upon a mountain-top.
W.B. Yeats
Some say the Tudors transcend this history, bloody and demonic as it is: that they descend from Brutus through the line of Constantine, son of St Helena, who was a Briton. Arthur, High King of Britain, was Constantine's grandson. He married up to three women, all called Guinevere, and his tomb is at Glastonbury, but you must understand that he is not really dead, only waiting his time to come again. His blessed descendant, Prince Arthur of England, was born in the year 1486, eldest son of Henry, the first Tudor king. This Arthur married Katharine the princess of Aragon, died at fifteen and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. If he were alive now, he would be King of England. His younger brother Henry would likely be Archbishop of Canterbury, and would not (at least, we devoutly hope not) be in pursuit of a woman of whom the cardinal hears nothing good: a woman to whom, several years before the dukes walk in to despoil him, he will need to turn his attention; whose history, before ruin seizes him, he will need to comprehend. Beneath every history, another history.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
The two soldiers laughed, and even the king smiled. Reinforcing Costis's suspicion that Eugenides had been responsible for Ornon's lost sheep, Boagus asked, "Do you still baa like a lamb when he walks into the room?" Eugenides shook his head. "Ornon took me aside first thing after the coronation and explained that it would be against my dignity." Aulus and Boagus stared. Eugenides expression was bland. "He said that?" Aulus asked. "He did," the king confirmed. "What did you say?" Boagus asked suspiciously. "I promised to bark like a sheepdog instead." The Eddisians chuckled again. "You don't, though?" Aulus had to ask. The king eyed him with disgust. "Give me some credit," He said, and when Aulus was visibly relieved, added, "Not when anybody else can hear me.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
Adam described the circumstances surrounding his eye and his hand with the same level tone he would use to answer a question in class. He allowed Ronan to lean in to compare his eyes – close enough that Ronan felt his breath on his cheek – and he allowed Ronan to study the palm of his hand. The latter was not strictly necessary, and they both knew it, but Adam watched Ronan closely as he lightly traced the lines there. This was like walking the line between dream and sleep. The night-sharp balance of being asleep enough to dream and awake enough to remember what he wanted. He knew Adam had figured out how he felt. But he didn’t know if he could step off this knife-slender path without destroying what he had.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
She got up , walked around the table, and gave him a lingering hug, running her fingers through the back of his hair. She'd been finding more excuses to hug him lately. "What was that for?" Dill asked. "Because you looked like your heart stepped on a Lego.
Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King)
Paul Edgecomb: What do you want me to do John? I'll do it. You want me to let you walk out of here and see how far you get? John Coffey: Now why would you want to do a foolish thing like that? Paul Edgecomb: When I die and I stand before God awaiting judgment and he asks me why I let one of HIS miracles die, what am I gonna say, that it was my job?
Stephen King
He kissed her lips, and I went from feeling like a king to a man on the edge of murder.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Saying glory to a warrior was like saying walk to a dog—you got its tail wagging, sure as shit. “Because
Nicholas Eames (Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1))
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Price,” Wrath said, still looking at his brother. “Well, here’s the thing.” As the king cursed, the man, Lassiter, laughed. “It’s not a price, though.” “What. Is. It.” “We’re a two-for-one-deal.” “Excuse me?” “I come with him.” “The fuck you do.” The man lost any levity in his voice. “It’s past of the arrangement, and believe me, I wouldn’t choose this either. Fact is, he’s my last change, so yeah, I’m sorry, but I go with him. And if you say no, by the way, I’m going to level us all like that.” The man snapped his fingers, a brilliant white spark flaring against the night sky. After a moment, Wrath turned to John. “This is Lassiter, the fallen angel. One of the last times he was on earth, there was a plague in central Europe –“ “Okay, that was so not my fault –” “ – that wiped out two-thirds of the human population.” “I’d like to remind you that you don’t like humans.” “They smell bad when they’re dead.” “All you mortal types do.” John could barely follow the conversation; he was too busy staring into Tohr’s face. Open your eyes…open your eyes…please God… “Come on, John.” Wrath turned back to the Brotherhood and started walking. When he came up to them, he said softly, “Our brother is returned.” “Oh, Christ, is he alive,” someone said. “Thank God,” someone else groaned. “Tell them,” Lassiter demanded from behind. “Tell them he comes with a roommate.” As one, the Brothers’ heads snapped up. “Fuck. Me, “Vishous breathed. “I will so pass on that,” Lassiter muttered.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
Lavi said that you should just suck his cock,” she laughed. “That will tell him everything he needs to know and make him worship the ground you walk on. Like I said, males are simple like that.
Zoey Draven (Captive of the Horde King (Horde Kings of Dakkar, #1))
...most of what bein human's about is making choices and payin the bills when they come due. Some of the choices are pretty goddam nasty, but that don't give a person leave to just walk away from em... In a case like that, you just have to make the best choice you can n then pay the price.
Stephen King (Dolores Claiborne)
Compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there,” Hardy supposedly said, “the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones.” I understood because that was what I felt like in those interminable, dissembling days: a bag of bones.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
For the truth is a terrible thing. You dabble your foot in it and it is nothing. But you walk a little farther and you feel it pull you like an undertow or a whirlpool. First there is the slow pull so steady and gradual you scarcely notice it, then the acceleration, then the dizzy whirl and plunge into darkness. For there is a blackness of truth, too. They say it is a terrible thing to fall into the Grace of God. I am prepared to believe that.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
The King walks. He nods. His glance is like God's touch - under it all things spring to life. A wave of his hand and a hundred musicians tear into the Handel, making a sound you've never heard before, and never will again. A sound that goes through you, through flesh and bone, and reorders the very beat of your heart.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
Those dear to me took fright for my safety and, perhaps, my sanity. Kings, they explained, do not walk like beggars for hundreds of miles. My response was that if a beggar could managed the feat, then why not a king? Did they think me less capable than a beggar? Sometimes I think that I am. The beggar knows much that the king can only guess. And yet who draws up the codes for begging ordinances? Often I wonder what my experience in life--my easy life following the Desolation, and my current level of comfort--has given me of any true experience to use in making laws. If we had to rely on what we knew, kings would only be of use in creating laws regarding the proper heating of tea and the cushioning of thrones.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
There are times when a lie can’t be helped. Honesty is a fickle bitch like that. I don’t believe in filtering, though. When you start walking on egg shells around people, that’s when you know that those are people you don’t need to be around. Life’s too short to pretend to be anyone else. I’m just me. I say what I want to fucking say. I do what I want to do and I don’t fucking apologize for it.
T.M. Frazier (Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One (King, #5))
They were walking beside the stream and the Lion went before them: and he became so beautiful, and the music so despairing, that Jill did not know which of them it was that filled her eyes with tears. Then Aslan stopped, and the children looked into the stream. And there, on the golden gravel of the bed of the stream, lay King Caspian, dead, with the water flowing over him like liquid glass. His long white beard swayed in it like water-weed. And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Sammi watched him walk toward her. He walked like a predator, a conqueror. A king who ruled and commanded all. He was sex and sin, decadence and sensuality. He was, simply put, spectacular.
Donna Grant (Fire Rising (Dark Kings, #2))
The night was cold, chilling the sweat on his face, but the air was as sweet and crisp as the first bite of a fall apple. Above him was a half-moon and what seemed like a trillion stars. To match the trillion pebbles, just as mysterious, that we walk over everyday, he thought. Mystery above, mystery below. Weight, mass, reality: mystery all around.
Stephen King (Elevation)
Because guys like us, Red, we know there's a third choice. An alternative to staying simon-pure and bathing in the filth and the slime. It's the alternative that grown-ups all over the world pick. You balance off the walk through the hog-wallow against what it gains you. You choose the lesser of the two evils and try to keep your good intentions in front of you. And I guess you judge how well you are doing by how well you sleep at night...and what your dreams are like.
Stephen King
Bad enough when the dead come walking,"he said (Dolorous Edd) to Jon, "now the Old Bear wants them talking as well? No good will come of that, I'll warrant. And who's to say the bones wouldn't lie? Why should death make a man truthful, or even clever? The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints-the ground's too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does he get more worms than I do. . . .
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Once upon a time, there was a King who walked astride his world - here, there and everywhere. He became poor in order to be like the people he loved, and he lived among the outcasts in order to feel their pain.
David R. Mains (Tales of the Kingdom)
McVries seemed not to have heard. "These things, they don't even bear the weight of conversation," he said, "J.D. Salinger...John Knowles...even James Kirkwood and that guy Don Bredes...they've destroyed being an adolescent, Garraty. If you're a sixteen-year-boy, you can't discuss the pains of adolescent love with any decency anymore. You just come off sounding like fucking Ron Howard with a hardon." McVries laughed a little hysterically.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
Shortly after, the aqueous symphony of dawn began. The last day of the Walk came up wet and overcast. The wind howled down the almost-empty alley of the road like a lost dog being whipped through a strange and terrible place.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
Tell me this," I said. "My world. It's not like the one I read about in the oldest books. When they talk about magic, about ghosts, it's as if they are fairy-tales to frighten children. And yet I have seen the dead walk, seen a boy bring fire with just a thought." Fexler frowned as if considering how to explain. "Think of reality as a ship whose course is set, whose wheel is locked in place by universal constants. Our greatest achievement, and downfall, was to turn that wheel, just a fraction. The role of the observer was always important—we discovered that. If a tree falls in the wood and no one hears it, then it is both standing and not standing. The cat is both alive and dead." "Who mentioned a fecking cat?
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me, writing is like walking through a desert and all at once, poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney. I know there's a house under there, and I'm pretty sure that I can dig it up if I want. That's how I feel. It's like the stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap of faith that says: "If I sit down and do this, everything will come out OK.
Stephen King
I don't get as much fan mail as an actor or singer would, but when I get a letter 99% of the time it's pointing out something that really had an impact. Like after 'My Own Private Rodeo' all these people wrote to me and said Dale's dad inspired them to come out. And this was when it was still illegal to be gay in Texas and a few other states. Another one that really stuck with me was this girl who survived Columbine. See, "Wings of the Dope," the episode where Luanne's boyfriend comes back as an angel, aired two weeks after the shooting. About a month after that, I got a letter from a girl who was there and hid somewhere in the school when it was all going on. She said the first thing she was gonna do if she survived was tell a friend of hers she was in love with him. She never did. He ended up being one of the kids responsible for it. So you can imagine how - you know, to her, it felt wrong to grieve almost, and she bottled it up. But she saw that episode and Buckley walking away at the end and something just let her finally break down and greive and miss the guy. I remember she quoted Luanne - 'I wonder if he's guardianing some other girl,' or something along that line, because she never had the guts to tell the kid. That really gets to people at Comic Con.
Mike Judge
When I was a teenager, I looked at over-fifties with pity and unease: they walked too slow, they talked too slow, they watched TV instead of going out to movies and concerts, their idea of a great party was hotpot with the neighbors and tucked into bed after the eleven o’clock news. But—like most other fifty-, sixty-, and seventysomethings who are in relative good health—I didn’t mind it so much when my turn came. Because the brain doesn’t age, although its ideas about the world may harden and there’s a greater tendency to run off at the mouth about how things were in the good old days.
Stephen King (Revival)
The world was young, the mountains green, No stain yet on the Moon was seen, No words were laid on stream or stone When Durin woke and walked alone. He named the nameless hills and dells; He drank from yet untasted wells; He stooped and looked in Mirrormere, And saw a crown of stars appear, As gems upon a silver thread, Above the shadow of his head. The world was fair, the mountains tall, In Elder Days before the fall Of mighty kings in Nargothrond And Gondolin, who now beyond The Western Seas have passed away: The world was fair in Durin's Day. A king he was on carven throne In many-pillared halls of stone With golden roof and silver floor, And runes of power upon the door. The light of sun and star and moon In shining lamps of crystal hewn Undimmed by cloud or shade of night There shone for ever fair and bright. There hammer on the anvil smote, There chisel clove, and graver wrote; There forged was blade, and bound was hilt; The delver mined, the mason built. There beryl, pearl, and opal pale, And metal wrought like fishes' mail, Buckler and corslet, axe and sword, And shining spears were laid in hoard. Unwearied then were Durin's folk; Beneath the mountains music woke: The harpers harped, the minstrels sang, And at the gates the trumpets rang. The world is grey, the mountains old, The forge's fire is ashen-cold; No harp is wrung, no hammer falls: The darkness dwells in Durin's halls; The shadow lies upon his tomb In Moria, in Khazad-dûm. But still the sunken stars appear In dark and windless Mirrormere; There lies his crown in water deep, Till Durin wakes again from sleep. -The Song of Durin
J.R.R. Tolkien
A woman's love is strange and cruel and nearly always clear-sighted, love that sees is always horrible love, and she knew walking away was right and so she walked, dismissing the cries as only another part of the boy's development, like smiles from gas or scraped knees.
Stephen King (Roadwork)
I had a dream that I saw God walking across Harrison on the far side of the lake, a God so gigantic that above the waist He was lost in a clear blue sky. In the dream I could hear the rending crack and splinter of breaking trees as God stamped the woods into the shape of His footsteps. He was circling the lake, coming toward the Bridgton side, toward us, and all the houses and cottages and summer places were bursting into purple-white flame like lightning, and soon the smoke covered everything. The smoke covered everything like a mist.
Stephen King (The Mist)
I was having dinner…in London…when eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about “Your country’s never been invaded.” And so I said, “Let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying 'Cheerio.' Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.
P.J. O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny about This?")
The mustard—pot got up and walked over to his plate on thin silver legs that waddled like the owl’s. Then it uncurled its handles and one handle lifted its lid with exaggerated courtesy while the other helped him to a generous spoonful. ‘Oh, I love the mustard—pot!’ cried the Wart. ‘Wherever did you get it?’ At this the pot beamed all over its face and began to strut a bit, but Merlyn rapped it on the head with a teaspoon, so that it sat down and shut up at once. ‘It is not a bad pot,’ he said grudgingly. ‘Only it is inclined to give itself airs.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
I must have wanton Poets, pleasant wits, Musitians, that with touching of a string May draw the pliant king which way I please: Musicke and poetrie is his delight, Therefore ile have Italian maskes by night, Sweete speeches, comedies, and pleasing showes, And in the day when he shall walke abroad, Like Sylvian Nimphes my pages shall be clad, My men like Satyres grazing on the lawnes, Shall with their Goate feete daunce an antick hay. Sometime a lovelie boye in Dians shape, With haire that gilds the water as it glides, Crownets of pearle about his naked armes, And in his sportfull hands an Olive tree, To hide those parts which men delight to see, Shall bathe him in a spring, and there hard by, One like Actaeon peeping through the grove, Shall by the angrie goddesse be transformde, And running in the likenes of an Hart, By yelping hounds puld downe, and seeme to die. Such things as these best please his majestie, My lord.
Christopher Marlowe (Edward II)
What I love about the Bible is that the story isn't over. There are still prophets in our midst. There are still dragons and beasts. It might not look like it, but the Resistance is winning. The light is breaking through. So listen to the weirdos. Listen to the voices crying from the wilderness. They are pointing us to a new King and a better kingdom.
Rachel Held Evans (Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again)
(W)hy is poetry wholly an elderly taste? When I was twenty I could not for the life of me read Shakespeare for pleasure; now it lights me as I walk to think I have two acts of King John tonight, and shall next read Richard the Second. It is poetry that I want now -- long poems. I want the concentration and the romance, and the words all glued together, fused, glowing; having no time to waste any more on prose. When I was twenty I liked Eighteenth Century prose; now it's poetry I want, so I repeat like a tipsy sailor in the front of a public house.
Virginia Woolf
The father of sin was theft; every one of the Ten Commandments boiled down to “Thou shalt not steal.” Murder was the theft of a life, adultery the theft of a wife, covetousness the secret, slinking theft that took place in the cave of the heart. Blasphemy was the theft of God’s name, swiped from the House of the Lord and sent out to walk the streets like a strutting whore.
Stephen King (The Stand)
But the Lady Amalthea and Prince Lir walked and spoke and sang together as blithely as though King Haggard's castle had become a green wood, wild and shadowy with spring. They climbed the crooked towers like hills, picnicked in stone meadows under a stone sky, and splashed up and down stairways that had softened and quickened into streams.
Peter S. Beagle
God abides in men" "God abides in men, These are men who are simple, they are fields of corn... Such men have minds like wide grey skies, they have the grandeur that the fools call emptiness. God abides in men. Some men are not simple, they live in cities among the teeming buildings, wrestling with forces as strong as the sun and the rain. Often they must forgo dream upon dream... Christ walks in the wilderness in such lives. God abides in men, because Christ has put on the nature of man, like a garment, and worn it to his own shape. He has put on everyone's life... to the workman's clothes to the King's red robes, to the snowy loveliness of the wedding garment... Christ has put on Man's nature, and given him back his humanness... God abides in man.
Caryll Houselander (The Flowering Tree)
No, you're not getting exhausted yet, Garraty." [Stebbins] jerked a thumb at Olson's silhouette. "That's exhausted. He's almost through now." Garraty watched Olson, fascinated, almost expecting him to drop at Stebbins's word. "What are you driving at?" "Ask your cracker friend, Art Baker. A mule doesn't like to plow. But he likes carrots. So you hang a carrot in front of his eyes. A mule without a carrot gets exhausted. A mule with a carrot spends a long time being tired. You get it?" "No." Stebbins smiled again. "You will. Watch Olson. He lost his appetite for the carrot. He doesn't quite know it yet, but he has. Watch Olson, Garraty. You can learn from Olson." Garraty looked at Stebbins closely, not sure how seriously to take him. Stebbins laughed aloud. His laugh was rich and full-a startling sound that made other Walkers turn their heads. "Go on. Go talk to him, Garraty. And if he won't talk, just get up close and have a good look. It's never too late to learn.
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
I suspect that fright, like pain, is one of those things that slip our minds once they have passed. What I do remember is a feeling I'd had before when I was down here, especially when I was walking this road by myself. It was a sense that reality is thin. I think it is thin, you know, thin as lake ice after a thaw, and we fill our lives with noise and light and motion to hide that thinness from ourselves.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
I thought for once that acting decent ought to be rewarded. That's why I let you go, and that's why I didn't bring you back to the King." "If it's so horrible there,why don't you stay with us?" I asked without thinking. "No." He shook his head and lowered his eyes. "Tempting though the offer may be, your people wouldn't allow it, and my people...well,let's just say they wouldn't react well if I didn't come home. And wether I like or not, it is my home." "I know that feeling all too well." I sighed. Though Forening was starting to feel more like home, I wasn't sure that it ever would completely. "See?I told you,Princess." Loki's smile returned more easily. "You and I aren't all that different." "You say that like it means something." "Doesn't it?" "No,not really. You're leaving today, going home to my enemies." I let out a deep breath, feeling an ache inside my chest. "If I'm lucky,I'll never see you again. Because if I do,that means we're at war,and I'd have to hurt you." "Oh,Wendy,that's perhaps the saddest thing I've ever heard," Loki said, and he looked like he meant it. "But life doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Don't you ever see the silver lining?" "Not today." I shook my head. I heard garrett summon me from down the hall, which meant that lunch was over and the meetings were about to start up. "I have to get back.I'll see you when we make the exchange with the Vittra Queen." "Good luck." Loki nodded. I turned to walk away, and I hadn't made it very far when I heard Loki calling after me. "Wendy!" Loki leaned out into the hall, so far it made him grimace with pain. "If you're right and the next time we see each other is when our kingdoms are at war, you and I never will be. I'll never fight you.That I can promise you.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
You haven’t lost your wits, have you?” Lopen asked, eyeing the bones. “Because if you have, I’ve got a cousin who makes this drink for people who’ve lost their wits, and it might make you better, sure.” “If I’d lost my wits,” Kaladin said, walking over to a pool of still water to wash off the carapace helm, “would I say that I had?” “I don’t know,” Lopen said, leaning back. “Maybe. Guess it doesn’t matter if you’re crazy or not.” “You’d follow a crazy man into battle?” “Sure,” Lopen said. “If you’re crazy, you’re a good type, and I like you. Not a killing-people-in-their-sleep type of crazy.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
When I look into the future, I am frightened, but why plunge into the future? Only the present moment is precious to me, as the future may never enter my soul at all. It is no longer in my power, to change, correct or add to the past; For neither sages nor prophets could do that. And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust to God. O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire. I desire to use you as best I can. And although I am weak and small, You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence. And so, trusting in Your mercy, I walk through life like a little child, offering You each day this heart burning with love for Your greater glory. King of Mercy, guide my soul.
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
He still had enough perfume left to enslave the whole world if he so chose. He could walk to Versailles and have the king kiss his feet. He could write the pope a perfumed letter and reveal himself as the new Messiah. He could do all this, and more, if he wanted to. He possessed a power stronger than the power of money, or terror, or death - the invincible power to command the love of man kind. There was only one thing the perfume could not do. It could not turn him into a person who could love and be loved like everyone else. So, to hell with it he thought. To hell with the world. With the perfume. With himself.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
That's how, on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate-factory roof in 1950 ending up sitting in a row at ten o'clock on a spring morning, drinking Black Label beer supplied by the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank Prison. That beer was piss-warm, but it was still the best I ever had in my life. We sat and drank it and felt the sun on our shoulders, and not even the expression of half-amusement, half-contempt on Hadley's face - as if he was watching apes drink beer instead of men - could spoil it. It lasted twenty minutes, that beer-break, and for those twenty minutes we felt like free men. We could have been drinking beer and tarring the roof of one of our own houses.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
I'm sorry I was less than you deserve, Tex, but I'm afraid I can't let you walk away from this. You see, it's too good, too rare to give up. I said in the cafeteria you weren't my girlfriend, and you weren't." I paused, watching her face twist with shock again. "You were my everything. Still are, baby. You wanted me to make you feel beautiful, but there's no one half as pretty as you are in the whole goddamn world. Please ..." My voice broke, and I bent the knee, like I'd always planned to. "Don't break my heart so soon after putting it back together." The air was thick in the auditorium as everyone held their breath. I was pretty sure for every second that ticked without her reaction, I lost an entire year of my life. Silver lining: a full minute of that, and I'd drop dead and wouldn't have to witness my own, very open disgrace. Finally, Grace found her voice. "On your feet, St. Claire," she whispered under her breath. "A king doesn't bow to others." I got up and scooped her up, giving people something to look at and talk about for years in this godforsaken town, pressing a dirty kiss to her lips and almost breaking her jaw in the process. "He does for his queen.
L.J. Shen (Playing with Fire)
A little while ago, I stood by the grave of the old Napoleon—a magnificent tomb of gilt and gold, fit almost for a dead deity—and gazed upon the sarcophagus of rare and nameless marble, where rest at last the ashes of that restless man. I leaned over the balustrade and thought about the career of the greatest soldier of the modern world. I saw him walking upon the banks of the Seine, contemplating suicide. I saw him at Toulon—I saw him putting down the mob in the streets of Paris—I saw him at the head of the army of Italy—I saw him crossing the bridge of Lodi with the tri-color in his hand—I saw him in Egypt in the shadows of the pyramids—I saw him conquer the Alps and mingle the eagles of France with the eagles of the crags. I saw him at Marengo—at Ulm and Austerlitz. I saw him in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves. I saw him at Leipsic in defeat and disaster—driven by a million bayonets back upon Paris—clutched like a wild beast—banished to Elba. I saw him escape and retake an empire by the force of his genius. I saw him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where Chance and Fate combined to wreck the fortunes of their former king. And I saw him at St. Helena, with his hands crossed behind him, gazing out upon the sad and solemn sea. I thought of the orphans and widows he had made—of the tears that had been shed for his glory, and of the only woman who ever loved him, pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door, and the grapes growing purple in the kisses of the autumn sun. I would rather have been that poor peasant with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky—with my children upon my knees and their arms about me—I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been that imperial impersonation of force and murder, known as 'Napoleon the Great.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Liberty Of Man, Woman And Child)
(On WWI:) A man of importance had been shot at a place I could not pronounce in Swahili or in English, and, because of this shooting, whole countries were at war. It seemed a laborious method of retribution, but that was the way it was being done. ... A messenger came to the farm with a story to tell. It was not a story that meant much as stories went in those days. It was about how the war progressed in German East Africa and about a tall young man who was killed in it. ... It was an ordinary story, but Kibii and I, who knew him well, thought there was no story like it, or one as sad, and we think so now. The young man tied his shuka on his shoulder one day and took his shield and his spear and went to war. He thought war was made of spears and shields and courage, and he brought them all. But they gave him a gun, so he left the spear and the shield behind him and took the courage, and went where they sent him because they said this was his duty and he believed in duty. ... He took the gun and held it the way they had told him to hold it, and walked where they told him to walk, smiling a little and looking for another man to fight. He was shot and killed by the other man, who also believed in duty, and he was buried where he fell. It was so simple and so unimportant. But of course it meant something to Kibii and me, because the tall young man was Kibii's father and my most special friend. Arab Maina died on the field of action in the service of the King. But some said it was because he had forsaken his spear.
Beryl Markham (West with the Night)
It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions... The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.
Mark Twain
The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin' We sailed away from Hallasholm, we had to be real quick, For Kloof had eaten Erak's ax and chewed his walking stick. We sailed across the Stormwite and we struck a mighty storm. We had to wear our woolly caps to keep us nice and warm. We sailed around Cape Shelter and then south to Araluen. We called upon the people there to find out what was doin'. We chased an evil slaver to the market of Socorro. "We can't rescue them tonight," said Hal. "We'll get them out tomorrow." Lydia and the Ranger burned the market to the ground. The rest of us, we freed the slaves then headed out of town. The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin' The slave master named Mahmel was a nasty kind of thug, So Stiggy dropped a rock and crushed him like a bug. We sailed back to Cresthaven and we set the captives free. King Duncan said, "Well done, my lads, you're just the boys for me. My Ranger Gilan has to go hunt down some assassins So go along with him and give these wicked types a thrashin'." A pirate galley barred our way. We quickly overtook 'em. And Ingvar led the charge aboard to stab and chop and hook 'em. We beat the Tualaghi and the Scorpions as well. The Ranger stuck his saxe into the leader, the Shurmel. When all the assassins threw a fit of wild hysterics, Hal grabbed up the Shurmel's staff and brought it back for Erak. The Herons! The Herons! The mighty, fighting Herons! No other Brotherband you'll see Is even half as darin
John Flanagan
... WHEN ONE LOOKS INTO THE DARKNESS THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE... Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose, Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre, Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise In Druid vapour and make the torches dim; Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him Who met Fand walking among flaming dew By a grey shore where the wind never blew, And lost the world and Emer for a kiss; And him who drove the gods out of their liss, And till a hundred morns had flowered red Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead; And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods: And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods, And sought through lands and islands numberless years, Until he found, with laughter and with tears, A woman of so shining loveliness That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress, A little stolen tress. I, too, await The hour of thy great wind of love and hate. When shall the stars be blown about the sky, Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die? Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows, Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose? Out of sight is out of mind: Long have man and woman-kind, Heavy of will and light of mood, Taken away our wheaten food, Taken away our Altar stone; Hail and rain and thunder alone, And red hearts we turn to grey, Are true till time gutter away. ... the common people are always ready to blame the beautiful.
W.B. Yeats (The Secret Rose and Rosa Alchemica by W.B.Yeats, Fiction, Literary, Classics)
There is a thing called knowledge of the world, which people do not have until they are middle-aged. It is something which cannot be taught to younger people, because it is not logical and does not obey laws which are constant. It has no rule. Only, in the long years which bring women to the middle of life, a sense of balance develops. You can’t teach a baby to walk by explaining the matter to her logically – she has to learn the strange poise of walking by experience. In some way like that, you cannot teach a young woman to have the knowledge of the world. She has to be left to the experience of the years. And then, when she is beginning to hate her used body, she suddenly finds that she can do it. She can go on living – not by principle, not by deduction, not by knowledge of good and evil, but simply by a peculiar and shifting sense of balance which defies each of these things often. She no longer hopes to live by seeking the truth – if women ever do hope this – but continues henceforth under the guidance of a seventh sense. Balance was the sixth sense, which she won when she first learned to walk, and now she has the seventh one – knowledge of the world.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
It is an age lurching along the lip of a dark precipice, peeking fearfully into chaos's empty eyes, enrapt, like a giddy rat trying to stare down a hungry cobra. The gods are restless, tossing and turning and wakening in snippets to conspire at mischief. Their bastard offspring, the hundred million spirits of rock and brook and tree, of place and time and emotion, find old constraints are rotting. The Postern of Fate stands ajar. The world faces an age of fear, of conflict, of grand sorcery, of great change, and of greater despair amongst mortal men. And the cliffs of ice creep forward. Great kings walk the earth. They cannot help but collide. Great ideas sweep back and forth aross the face of a habitable world that is shrinking. Those cannot help but fire hatred and fear amongst adherents of dogmas and doctrines under increasing pressure. As always, those who do the world's work most dearly pay the price of the world's pain.
Glen Cook (The Tyranny of the Night (Instrumentalities of the Night, #1))
My birth certificate says: Female Negro Mother: Mary Anne Irby, 22, Negro Father: Jack Austin Woodson, 25, Negro In Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr. is planning a march on Washington, where John F. Kennedy is president. In Harlem, Malcolm X is standing on a soapbox talking about a revolution. Outside the window of University Hospital, snow is slowly falling. So much already covers this vast Ohio ground. In Montgomery, only seven years have passed since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus. I am born brown-skinned, black-haired and wide-eyed. I am born Negro here and Colored there and somewhere else, the Freedom Singers have linked arms, their protests rising into song: Deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome someday. and somewhere else, James Baldwin is writing about injustice, each novel, each essay, changing the world. I do not yet know who I’ll be what I’ll say how I’ll say it . . . Not even three years have passed since a brown girl named Ruby Bridges walked into an all-white school. Armed guards surrounded her while hundreds of white people spat and called her names. She was six years old. I do not know if I’ll be strong like Ruby. I do not know what the world will look like when I am finally able to walk, speak, write . . . Another Buckeye! the nurse says to my mother. Already, I am being named for this place. Ohio. The Buckeye State. My fingers curl into fists, automatically This is the way, my mother said, of every baby’s hand. I do not know if these hands will become Malcolm’s—raised and fisted or Martin’s—open and asking or James’s—curled around a pen. I do not know if these hands will be Rosa’s or Ruby’s gently gloved and fiercely folded calmly in a lap, on a desk, around a book, ready to change the world . . .
Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming)
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright-- And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done-- "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!" The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying over head-- There were no birds to fly. The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it WOULD be grand!" "If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear. "O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each." The eldest Oyster looked at him. But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head-- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed. But four young oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat-- And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet. Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more-- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore. The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row. "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings." "But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that. "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready Oysters dear, We can begin to feed." "But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue, "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said "Do you admire the view? "It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf-- I've had to ask you twice!" "It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!" "I weep for you," the Walrus said. "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size. Holding his pocket handkerchief Before his streaming eyes. "O Oysters," said the Carpenter. "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none-- And that was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2))
This afternoon I walked through the city, making for a café where I was to meet Raphael. It was about half-past two on a day that had never really got light. It began to snow. The low clouds made a grey ceiling for the city; the snow muffled the noise of the cars until it became almost rhythmical; a steady, shushing noise, like the sound of tides beating endlessly on marble walls. I closed my eyes. I felt calm. There was a park. I entered it and followed a path through an avenue of tall, ancient trees with wide, dusky, grassy spaces on either side of them. The pale snow sifted down through bare winter branches. The lights of the cars on the distant road sparkled through the trees: red, yellow, white. It was very quiet. Though it was not yet twilight the streetlights shed a faint light. People were walking up and down on the path. An old man passed me. He looked sad and tired. He had broken veins on his cheeks and a bristly white beard. As he screwed up his eyes against the falling snow, I realised I knew him. He is depicted on the northern wall of the forty-eighth western hall. He is shown as a king with a little model of a walled city in one hand while the other hand he raises in blessing. I wanted to seize hold of him and say to him: In another world you are a king, noble and good! I have seen it! But I hesitated a moment too long and he disappeared into the crowd. A woman passed me with two children. One of the children had a wooden recorder in his hands. I knew them too. They are depicted in the twenty-seventh southern hall: a statue of two children laughing, one of them holding a flute. I came out of the park. The city streets rose up around me. There was a hotel with a courtyard with metal tables and chairs for people to sit in more clement weather. Today they were snow-strewn and forlorn. A lattice of wire was strung across the courtyard. Paper lanterns were hanging from the wires, spheres of vivid orange that blew and trembled in the snow and the thin wind; the sea-grey clouds raced across the sky and the orange lanterns shivered against them. The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
Granny Trill and Granny Wallon were traditional ancients of a kind we won’t see today, the last of that dignity of grandmothers to whom age was its own embellishment. The grandmothers of those days dressed for the part in that curious but endearing uniform which is now known to us only through music-hall. And our two old neighbours, when setting forth on errands, always prepared themselves scrupulously so. They wore high laced boots and long muslin dresses, beaded chokers and candlewick shawls, crowned by tall poke bonnets tied with trailing ribbons and smothered with inky sequins. They looked like starlings, flecked with jet, and they walked in a tinkle of darkness. Those severe and similar old bodies enthralled me when they dressed that way. When I finally became King (I used to think) I would command a parade of grandmas, and drill them, and march them up and down - rank upon rank of hobbling boots, nodding bonnets, flying shawls, and furious chewing faces. They would be gathered from all the towns and villages and brought to my palace in wagon-loads. No more than a monarch’s whim, of course, like eating cocoa or drinking jellies; but far more spectacular any day than those usual trudging guardsmen.
Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie)
The Red Keep was full of cats: lazy old cats dozing in the sun, cold-eyed mousers twitching their tails, quick little kittens with claws like needles, ladies’ cats all combed and trusting, ragged shadows prowling the midden heaps. One by one Arya had chased them down and snatched them up and brought them proudly to Syrio Forel … all but this one, this one-eared black devil of a tomcat. “That’s the real king of this castle right there,” one of the gold cloaks had told her. “Older than sin and twice as mean. One time, the king was feasting the queen’s father, and that black bastard hopped up on the table and snatched a roast quail right out of Lord Tywin’s fingers. Robert laughed so hard he like to burst. You stay away from that one, child.” He had run her halfway across the castle; twice around the Tower of the Hand, across the inner bailey, through the stables, down the serpentine steps, past the small kitchen and the pig yard and the barracks of the gold cloaks, along the base of the river wall and up more steps and back and forth over Traitor’s Walk, and then down again and through a gate and around a well and in and out of strange buildings until Arya didn’t know where she was. Now at last she had him. High walls pressed close on either side, and ahead was a blank windowless mass of stone. Quiet as a shadow, she repeated, sliding forward, light as a feather. When she was three steps away from him, the tomcat bolted. Left, then right, he went; and right, then left, went Arya, cutting off his escape. He hissed again and tried to dart between her legs. Quick as a snake, she thought.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
I feel him beside me, hear the even sound of his breathing, smell the delicious saltiness of his skin. I have missed him. I move to face him, and that’s when the pain reminds me that I’ve recently been stabbed. I bury my face in the pillow, but it doesn’t quite muffle my yelp. “Emma?” Galen says groggily. I feel his hand in my hair, stroking the length of it. “Don’t move, angelfish. Stay on your stomach. I’ll go tell Rachel you’re ready for more pain medicine.” Immediately I disobey and turn my face up to him. He shakes his head. “I’ve recently learned where your stubbornness comes from.” I grimace/smile. “My mom?” “Worse. King Antonis. The resemblance is uncanny.” He leans down and presses his lips to mine and all too quickly springs back up. “Now, be a good little deviant and stay put while I go get more pain meds.” “Galen,” I say. “Hmmm?” “How bad am I hurt?” He caresses the outline of my cheek. His touch could disintegrate me. “Hurt at all is bad enough for me.” “Yeah, but you’ve always been a baby about this stuff.” I grin at his faux offense. “Your mother says it’s only a flesh wound. She’s been treating it.” “Mom is here?” “She’s downstairs. Uh…You should know that Grom is here, too.” Grom left the tribunal and headed for land? Did that mean it all ended badly? Well, even worse than my getting impaled? An urgent need to know everything about everything shimmies through me. “Whoa. Sit. Talk. Now.” He laughs. “I will, I promise. But I want to make you comfortable first.” “Well, then, you need to come over here and switch places with the bed.” A blush fills my cheeks, but I don’t care. I need him. All of him. It feels like forever since we’ve talked like this, just me and him. But talking usually doesn’t last long. Lips were made for other things, too. And Galen is especially good at the other things. He walks back and squats by the bed. “You have no idea how tempting that is.” It seems like the violet of his eyes gets darker. It’s the color they get when he has to pull away from me, when we’re about to violate a bunch of Syrena laws if we don’t stop. “But you’re not well enough to…” He runs a hand through his hair. “I’ll go get Rachel. Then we can talk.” I’m a little surprised that his argument didn’t begin with “But the law…” That is what has stopped us in the past. Now the only thing that appears to be stopping us is my stabby condition. What’s changed? And why am I not excited about it? I used to get so frustrated when he would pull away. But a small part of me loved that about him, his respect for the law and for the tradition of his people. His respect for me. Respect is a hard thing to come by when picking from among human boys. Is that respect gone? And is it my fault?
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
…but to the unicorn’s eyes Molly was becoming a softer country, full of pools and caves, where old flowers came burning out of the ground. Under the dirt and indifference, she appeared only thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old - no older than Schmendrick, surely, despite the magician’s birthdayless face. Her rough hair bloomed, her skin quickened, and her voice was nearly as gentle to all things as it was when she spoke to the unicorn. The eyes would never be joyous, any more than they could ever turn green or blue, but they too had wakened in the earth. She walked eagerly into King Haggard’s realm on bare, blistered feet, and she sang often. And far away on the other side of the unicorn, Schmendrick the Magician stalked in silence. His black cloak was sprouting holes, coming undone, and so was he. The rain that renewed Molly did not fall on him, and he seemed ever more parched and deserted, like the land itself. The unicorn could not heal him. A touch of her horn could have brought him back from death, but over despair she had no power, nor over magic that had come and gone.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Slowly the lights of the torches in front of Merry flicked and went out, and he was walking in a darkness; and he thought: ‘This is a tunnel leading to a tomb; there we shall stay forever.’ But suddenly into his dream there fell a living voice. ‘Well, Merry! Thank goodness I have found you!’ He looked up and the mist before his eyes cleared a little. There was Pippin! They were face to face in a narrow lane, but for themselves it was empty. He rubbed his eyes. ‘Where is the king?’ He said. ‘And Eowyn?’ Then he stumbled and sat down on a doorstep and began to weep again. ‘They must have gone up into the Citadel,’ said Pippin. ‘I think you must have fallen asleep on your feet and taken the wrong turning. When we found out you were not with them, Gandalf sent me to look for you. Poor old Merry! How glad I am to see you again! But you are worn out, and I won’t bother you with any talk. But tell me, are you hurt, or wounded?’ ‘No,’ said Merry. ‘Well, no, I don’t think so. But I can’t use my right arm, Pippin, not since I stabbed him. And my sword burned away like a piece of wood.’ Pippin’s face was anxious. ‘Well, you had better come with me as quick as you can,’ he said. ‘I wish I could carry you. You aren’t fit to walk any further. They shouldn’t have let you walk at all; but you must forgive them. So many dreadful things have happened in the City, Merry, that one poor hobbit coming in from battle is easily overlooked.’ ‘It’s not always a misfortune being overlooked,’ said Merry. ‘I was overlooked just now by—no, no, I can’t speak of it. Help me, Pippin! It’s all going dark again, and my arm is so cold.’ ‘Lean on me, Merry lad!” said Pippin. ‘Come now. Foot by foot. It’s not far.’ ‘Are you going to bury me?’ said Merry. ‘No, indeed!’ said Pippin, trying to sound cheerful, though his heart was wrung with fear and pity. ‘No, we are going to the Houses of Healing.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
Surely, somewhere in the back of Bulfinch, in a part Lillian had not gotten to, there is an obscure (abstruse, arcane, shadowy, and even hidden) version of Proserpine in he Underworld in which a tired Jewish Ceres schleps through the outskirts of Tartarus, an ugly village of tired whores who must double as laundresses and barbers, a couple of saloons, a nearly empty five-and-dime, and people too poor to pull up stakes. In this version, Ceres looks all over town for her Proserpine, who crossed the River Cyane in a pretty sailboat with Pluto, having had the good sense to come to an understanding with the king early on. Pluto and Proserpine picnic in a charming park, twinkling lights overhead and handsome wide benches like the ones in Central Park. When Ceres comes, tripping a little on her hem as she walks through the soft grass, muttering and trying to yank Proserpine to her feet so they can start the long trip home to Enna and daylight (which has lost much of its luster, now that Proserpine is queen of all she surveys), the girl does not jump up at the sight of her mother, but takes her time handing out the sandwiches and pours cups of sweetened tea for the three of them. She lays a nicely ironed napkin in her lap and another in the lap of her new husband, the king. Proserpine does not eat the pomegranate seeds by mistake, or in a moment of desperate hunger, or fright, or misunderstanding. She takes the pomegranate slice out of her husband’s dark and glittering hand and pulls the seeds into her open, laughing mouth; she eats only six seeds because her mother knocks it out of her hand before she can swallow the whole sparkling red cluster. “We have to get home,” Ceres says. “I am home,” her daughter says.
Amy Bloom (Away)
The glow lasted through the night, beyond the bar's closing, when there were no cabs on the street. And so Mathilde and Lotto decided to walk home, her arm in his, chatting about nothing, about everything, the unpleasant, hot breath of the subway belching up from the grates. 'Chthonic', he said, booze letting loose the pretension at his core, which she still found sweet, an allowance from the glory. It was so late, there were few other people out, and it felt, just for this moment, that they had the city to themselves. She thought of all the life just underfoot, the teem of it that they were passing over, unknowing. She said, 'Did you know that the total weight of all the ants on Earth is the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.' She, who drank to excess, was a little bit drunk, it was true, there was so much relief in the evening. When the curtains closed against the backdrop, an enormous bolder blocking their future had rolled away. 'They'll still be here when we're gone,' he said. He was drinking from a flask. By the time they were home, he'd be sozzeled. 'The ants and the jellyfish and the cockroaches, they will be the kings of the Earth.'... 'They deserve this place more than we do,' she said. 'We've been reckless with our gifts.' He smiled and looked up. There were no stars, there was too much smog for them. 'Did you know,' he said, 'they just found out just a while ago that there are billions of worlds that can support life in our galaxy alone.' ...She felt a sting behind here eyes, but couldn't say why this thought touched her. He saw clear through and understood. He knew her. The things he didn't know about her would sink an ocean liner. He knew her. 'We're lonely down here,' he said, 'it's true, but we're not alone.' In the hazy space after he died, when she lived in a sort of timeless underground grief, she saw on the internet a video about what would happen to our galaxy in billions of years. We are in an immensely slow tango with the Andromeda galaxy, both galaxies shaped like spirals with outstretched arms, and we are moving toward each other like spinning bodies. The galaxies will gain speed as they draw near, casting off blue sparks, new stars until they spin past each other, and then the long arms of both galaxies will reach longingly out and grasp hands at the last moment and they will come spinning back in the opposite direction, their legs entwined, never hitting, until the second swirl becomes a clutch, a dip, a kiss, and then at the very center of things, when they are at their closest, there will open a supermassive black hole.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
You run off when things get a little more complicated than you'd like, and leave us to cover your tracks so the whole valley doesn't find out that Hytanica bloody lost its King-meanwhile, the Cokyrians are infiltrating our lands to the north, so it becomes entirely possible that you've walked right into their camp. We have men out there still searching for you,men who should be helping to barricade the northern border-to make sure that in a week you still have a kingdom to rule. And you have the gall to strut in here and be an ass! I swear, Steldo, if we didn't need someone to sit on that throne, I'd dispatch you with my own hands!" The two erstwhile companions stared at each other, Galen challenging Steldor to respond, and Steldor too staggered to do so.Eventually,the sergeant threw his hands in the air and marched into his office,slamming the door behind him. In the silence that followed Galen's departure, I came to appreciate the true meaning of the word awkward. Steldor did not rise to his feet, and his eyes were glazed. I felt un-needed,but there was no way for me to make a polished exit. The Palace Gaurds,bound by duty to remaind, searched the walls, the floor, the ceiling, for anything plausible in which to show an interest, not wanting to be caught gawking at their King.
Cayla Kluver (Allegiance (Legacy, #2))
Now, the last one was that the demon king can’t stand either in heaven or on the earth. Urga set the demon on his lap, which means I guess I’ll have to…sit on your back.” Awkward. Even though Ren was a big tiger and it would be like riding a small pony, I was still conscious that he was a man, and I didn’t feel right about turning him into a pack animal. I took off my backpack and set it down wondering what I could do to make this a bit less embarrassing. Mustering the courage to sit on his back, I’d just decided that it wouldn’t be too bad if I sat sidesaddle, when my feet flew out from under me. Ren had changed into a man and swept me up into his arms. I wiggled for a minute, protesting, but he just gave me a look-the don’t-even-bother-coming-up-with-an-argument look. I shut my mouth. He leaned over to pick up the backpack, let it dangle from his fingers, and then said, “What’s next?” “I don’t know. That’s all that Mr. Kadam told me.” He shifted me in his arms, walked over to stand in the doorway again, then peered up at the statue. He murmured, “I don’t see any changes.” He held me securely while looking at the statue and, I have to admit, I totally stopped caring about what we were doing. The scratches on my arm that had been throbbing a moment ago didn’t bother me at all. I let myself enjoy the feeling of being cuddled up close to his muscular chest. What girl didn’t want to be swept up in the arms of a drop-dead gorgeous man? I allowed my gaze to drift up to his beautiful face. The thought occurred to me that if I were to carve a stone god, I’d pick Ren as my subject. This Urga half-lion and half-man guy had nothing on Ren. Eventually, he realized I was watching him, and said, “Hello? Kells? Breaking a curse here, remember?” I just smiled back stupidly. He quirked an eyebrow at me. “What were you thinking about just now?” “Nothing important.” He grinned. “May I remind you that you are in prime tickling position, and there’s no escape. Tell me.” Gads. His smile was brilliant, even in the fog. I laughed nervously. “If you tickle me, I’ll protest and struggle violently, which will cause you to drop me and ruin everything that we are trying to accomplish.” He grunted, leaned close to my ear, and then whispered, “That sounds like an interesting challenge, rajkumari. Perhaps we shall experiment with it later. And just for the record, Kelsey, I wouldn’t drop you.” The way he said my name made goose bumps rise all over my arms. When I looked down to quickly rub them, I noticed the flashlight had been turned off. I switched it on, but the statue remained the same. Giving up, I suggested, “Nothing’s happening. Maybe we need to wait till dawn.” He laughed throatily while nuzzling my ear and declared softly, “I’d say that something is happening, but not the something that will open the doorway.” He trailed soft, slow kisses from my ear down my neck. I sighed faintly and arched my neck to give him better access. With a last kiss, he groaned and reluctantly raised his head. Disappointed that he’d stopped, I asked, “What does rajkumari mean?” He laughed quietly, carefully set me down, and said, “It means princess.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Forgotten, as if you never were. Like a bird’s violent death like an abandoned church you’ll be forgotten, like a passing love and a rose in the night . . . forgotten I am for the road . . . There are those whose footsteps preceded mine those whose vision dictated mine. There are those who scattered speech on their accord to enter the story or to illuminate to others who will follow them a lyrical trace . . . and a speculation Forgotten, as if you never were a person, or a text . . . forgotten I walk guided by insight, I might give the story a biographical narrative. Vocabulary governs me and I govern it. I am its shape and it is the free transfiguration. But what I’d say has already been said. A passing tomorrow precedes me. I am the king of echo. My only throne is the margin. And the road is the way. Perhaps the forefathers forgot to describe something, I might nudge in it a memory and a sense Forgotten, as if you never were news, or a trace . . . forgotten I am for the road . . . There are those whose footsteps walk upon mine, those who will follow me to my vision. Those who will recite eulogies to the gardens of exile, in front of the house, free of worshipping yesterday, free of my metonymy and my language, and only then will I testify that I’m alive and free when I’m forgotten! ~ tr. Fady Joudah
Mahmoud Darwish
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
The sudden and total disappearance of Mawlana aroused resentment among his disciples and students, some of them becoming highly critical of Hazrat Shams, even threatening him. They believed Hazrat Shams had ruined their spiritual circle and prevented them from listening to Mawlana's sermons. In March of 1246 he left Konya and went to Syria without warning. After he left, Mawlana was grief stricken, secluding himself even more rather than engaging with his disciples and students. He was without a doubt furious with them. Realising the error of their ways, they repeatedly repented before Mawlana. Some months later, news arrived that Hazrat Shams had been seen in Damascus and a letter was sent to him with apologising for the behaviour of these disciples. Hazrat Sultan Walad and a search party were sent to Damascus to invite him back and in April 1247, he made his return. During the return journey, he invited Hazrat Sultan Walad to ride on horseback although he declined, choosing instead to walk alongside him, explaining that as a servant, he could not ride in the presence of such a king. Hazrat Shams was received back with joyous celebration with sama ceremonies being held for several days, and all those that had shown him resentment tearfully asked for his forgiveness. He reserved special praise for Hazrat Sultan Walad for his selflessness, which greatly pleased Mawlana. As he originally had no intention to return to Konya, he most likely would not have returned if Hazrat Sultan Walad had not himself gone to Damascus in search of him. After his return, he and Mawlana Rumi returned to their intense discussions. Referring to the disciples, Hazrat Shams narrates that their new found love for him was motivated only by desperation: “ They felt jealous because they supposed, "If he were not here, Mowlana would be happy with us." Now [that I am back] he belongs to all. They gave it a try and things got worse, and they got no consolation from Mowlana. They lost even what they had, so that even the enmity (hava, against Shams) that had swirled in their heads disappeared. And now they are happy and they show me honor and pray for me. (Maqalat 72) ” Referring to his absence, he explains that he left for the sake of Mawlana Rumi's development: “ I'd go away fifty times for your betterment. My going away is all for the sake of your development. Otherwise it makes no difference to me whether I'm in Anatolia or Syria, at the Kaaba or in Istanbul, except, of course, that separation matures and refines you. (Maqalat 164) ” After a while, by the end of 1247, he was married to Kimia, a young woman who’d grown up in Mawlana Rumi's household. Sadly, Kimia did not live long after the marriage and passed away upon falling ill after a stroll in the garden
Shams Tabrizi
Her kiss is hungry, as if long deprived. As if they didn’t already spend the morning doing just exactly this, making up for the lost time they were apart. Triton’s trident, I could do this all day. Then he catches himself. No, I couldn’t. Not without wanting more. Which is why we need to stop. Instead, he entwines his hands in her hair, and she teases his lips with her tongue, trying to get him to fully open his mouth to her. He gladly complies. Her fingers sneak their way under his shirt, up his stomach, sending a trail of fire to his chest. He is about to lose his shirt altogether. Until Antonis’s voice booms from the doorway. “Extract yourself from Prince Galen, Emma,” he says. “You two are not mated. This behavior is inappropriate for any Syrena, let alone a Royal.” Emma’s eyes go round as sand dollars. He can tell she’s not sure what to think about her grandfather telling her what to do. Or maybe she’s caught off guard that he called her a Royal. Either way, like most people, Emma decides to obey. Galen does, too. They stand up side by side, not daring to be close enough to touch. They behold King Antonis in a polka-dot bathrobe, and though he’s the one who looks silly, they are the ones who look shamed. Galen feels like a fingerling again. “I apologize, Highness,” he says. It seems like all he does lately is apologize to the Poseidon king. “It was my fault.” Antonis gives him a reproving look. “I like you, young prince. But you well know the law. Do not disappoint me, Galen. My granddaughter is deserving of a proper mating ceremony.” Galen can’t meet his eyes. He’s right. I shouldn’t be flirting with temptation like this. With the Archives on their way-or possibly here already-there is a distant but small chance that he and Emma can still live within the confines of the law. That they can still live as mates under the Syrena tradition. And he almost just blew it. What if it had gone too far? Then his mating with Emma would forever be blemished by breaking the law. “It won’t happen again, Highness.” Not until we’re mated, anyway. “Um. Did you just promise not to kiss me ever again?” Emma whispers. “Can we talk about this later? The Archives are obviously here, angelfish.” She’s on the verge of a fit, he can tell. “He’s just looking out for us,” Galen says quickly. “I agree, we need to respect the law-“ At this her fit subsides as if it was never there. She smiles wide at him. He can’t decide if it’s genuine, or if it’s the kind of smile she gives him when he’ll pay for something later. “Okay, Galen.” “Galen, Emma,” Nalia calls from the dining room, saving him from making a fool of himself. “Everyone is here.” Emma gives him a look that clearly says, “We’re so not done with this conversation.” Then she turns and walks away. Galen takes a second to regain a little bit of composure-which kissing Emma tends to steal from him. Then there’s the mortification of being interrupted by-Get it together, idiot.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I am totally lost in the folds of Love, totally free of worry and care. I have passed beyond the four qualities. My heart has torn away the veil of pretense. There was a time I circled with the nine spheres, rolling with the stars across the sky. There was a time I stayed by his side— I lived in his world and he gave me everything. With the best of intentions I became a prisoner in this form. How else did I get here? What crime did I commit? But I’d rather be in a prison with my Friend than in a rosegarden all alone. I came to this world To have a sight of Joseph’s purity. Like a baby born of its mother’s womb, I was brought here with blood and tears. People think they are born only once But they have been here so many times. In the cloak of this ragged body I have walked countless paths. How many times I have worn out this cloak! With ascetics in the desert I watched night turn into day. With pagans in the temple I slept at the foot of idols. I’ve been a charlatan and a king; I’ve been a healer, and fraught with disease. I’ve been on my death-bed so many times. . . . Floating up like the clouds Pouring down like the rain. As a darvish I sought the dust of annihilation but it never touched my robe. So I gathered armfuls of roses in this faded garden of existence. I am not of wind nor fire nor of the stormy seas. I am not formed out of painted clay. I am not even Shams-e Tabriz— I am the essence of laughter, I am pure light. Look again if you see me— It’s not me you have seen!
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved)
(This is from a tribute poem to Ronnie James Dio: Former lead vocalist of the band Rainbow, Black Sabbath. This is written with all the titles of the hit songs of DIO. The titles are all in upper case) You can “CATCH THE RAINBOW” – “A RAINBOW IN THE DARK” Through “ROCK & ROLL CHILDREN” “HOLY DIVER” will lurk “BEFORE THE FALL” of “ELECTRA” “ALL THE FOOLS SAILED AWAY” “JESUS,MARY AND THE HOLY GHOST”- “LORD OF THE LAST DAY” “MASTER OF THE MOON” you are When my “ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE” With our “BLACK”, “COLD FEET”, “MYSTERY” of “PAIN” you crave You’re “CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE”, “BETWEEN TWO HEARTS” When “HUNGRY FOR HEAVEN” “HUNTER OF THE HEART” hurts “FALLEN ANGELS” “FEED MY HEART” “FEVER DREAMS” “FEED MY HEAD” “I AM” “ANOTHER LIE” “AFTER ALL (THE DEAD)” Not “GUILTY” if you “HIDE IN THE RAINBOW’’ With your perfect “GUITAR SOLO” “DON’T TELL THE KIDS” to “DREAM EVIL” Don’t “GIVE HER THE GUN” to follow “DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS” Those “EVIL EYES” can see “LORD OF THE NIGHT” “MISTREATED”; “MY EYES” hate to fancy “SHAME ON THE NIGHT” “TURN UP THE NIGHT” Now it’s “TIME TO BURN” “TWISTED” “VOODOO” does “WALK ON WATER” And today its our turn “BLOOD FROM A STONE” “BORN ON THE SUN” I’m “BETTER IN THE DARK” “BREATHLESS” The “PRISONER OF PARADISE” you are! Forever you are deathless “SACRED HEART” “SHIVERS” Laying “NAKED IN THE RAIN” “THIS IS YOUR LIFE”- “ WILD ONE”! Your “GOLDEN RULES” we gain “IN DREAMS” “I SPEED AT NIGHT” I’m “LOSING MY INSANITY” “ANOTHER LIE”: “COMPUTER GOD” Your “HEAVEN AND HELL”- my vanity! By “KILLING THE DRAGON” “I COULD HAVE BEEN A DREAMER” I’m “THE LAST IN LINE” To “SCREAM” Like an “INVISIBLE” screamer Now that you are gone “THE END OF THE WORLD” is here “STRAIGHT THROUGH THE HEART” “PUSH” “JUST ANOTHER DAY” in fear “CHILDREN OF THE SEA” “ DYING IN AMERICA” Is it “DEATH BY LOVE”? “FACES IN THE WINDOW” looking for A “GYPSY” from above Dear “STARGAZER” from “STRANGE HIGHWAYS” Our love “HERE’S TO YOU” “WE ROCK” “ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD” The “OTHER WORLD” anew “ONE NIGHT IN THE CITY” with “NEON KNIGHTS” “THE EYES” “STAY OUT OF MY MIND” The “STARSTRUCK” “SUNSET SUPERMAN” Is what we long to find “THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING” Is the “INSTITUTIONAL MAN” “SHOOT SHOOT” to “TURN TO STONE” “WHEN A WOMAN CRIES” to plan To “STAND UP AND SHOUT” before “ THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL” Though “GOD HATES HEAVY METAL” “EAT YOUR HEART OUT” to reach the goal. From the poem- Holy Dio: the Diver (A tribute to Ronnie James Dio)
Munia Khan
In 2012, I turned fifty-six. Hugh and his longtime girlfriend took me out to dinner. On the way home I remembered a bit of old folklore—probably you’ve heard it—about how to boil a frog. You put it in cold water, then start turning up the heat. If you do it gradually, the frog is too stupid to jump out. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I decided it was an excellent metaphor for growing old. When I was a teenager, I looked at over-fifties with pity and unease: they walked too slow, they talked too slow, they watched TV instead of going out to movies and concerts, their idea of a great party was hotpot with the neighbors and tucked into bed after the eleven o’clock news. But—like most other fifty-, sixty-, and seventysomethings who are in relative good health—I didn’t mind it so much when my turn came. Because the brain doesn’t age, although its ideas about the world may harden and there’s a greater tendency to run off at the mouth about how things were in the good old days. (I was spared that, at least, because most of my so-called good old days had been spent as a full-bore, straight-on-for-Texas drug addict.) I think for most people, life’s deceptive deliriums begin to fall away after fifty. The days speed up, the aches multiply, and your gait slows down, but there are compensations. In calmness comes appreciation, and—in my case—a determination to be as much of a do-right-daddy as possible in the time I had left. That meant ladling out soup once a week at a homeless shelter in Boulder, and working for three or four political candidates with the radical idea that Colorado should not be paved over.
Stephen King (Revival)
When I go musing all alone Thinking of divers things fore-known. When I build castles in the air, Void of sorrow and void of fear, Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet, Methinks the time runs very fleet. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I lie waking all alone, Recounting what I have ill done, My thoughts on me then tyrannise, Fear and sorrow me surprise, Whether I tarry still or go, Methinks the time moves very slow. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so mad as melancholy. When to myself I act and smile, With pleasing thoughts the time beguile, By a brook side or wood so green, Unheard, unsought for, or unseen, A thousand pleasures do me bless, And crown my soul with happiness. All my joys besides are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. When I lie, sit, or walk alone, I sigh, I grieve, making great moan, In a dark grove, or irksome den, With discontents and Furies then, A thousand miseries at once Mine heavy heart and soul ensconce, All my griefs to this are jolly, None so sour as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see, Sweet music, wondrous melody, Towns, palaces, and cities fine; Here now, then there; the world is mine, Rare beauties, gallant ladies shine, Whate'er is lovely or divine. All other joys to this are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see Ghosts, goblins, fiends; my phantasy Presents a thousand ugly shapes, Headless bears, black men, and apes, Doleful outcries, and fearful sights, My sad and dismal soul affrights. All my griefs to this are jolly, None so damn'd as melancholy. Methinks I court, methinks I kiss, Methinks I now embrace my mistress. O blessed days, O sweet content, In Paradise my time is spent. Such thoughts may still my fancy move, So may I ever be in love. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I recount love's many frights, My sighs and tears, my waking nights, My jealous fits; O mine hard fate I now repent, but 'tis too late. No torment is so bad as love, So bitter to my soul can prove. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so harsh as melancholy. Friends and companions get you gone, 'Tis my desire to be alone; Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I Do domineer in privacy. No Gem, no treasure like to this, 'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. 'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, Fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so fierce as melancholy. I'll not change life with any king, I ravisht am: can the world bring More joy, than still to laugh and smile, In pleasant toys time to beguile? Do not, O do not trouble me, So sweet content I feel and see. All my joys to this are folly, None so divine as melancholy. I'll change my state with any wretch, Thou canst from gaol or dunghill fetch; My pain's past cure, another hell, I may not in this torment dwell! Now desperate I hate my life, Lend me a halter or a knife; All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so damn'd as melancholy.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It ; in Three Partitions; With Their ... Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
Be honest with yourself. You were at your lowest and broken down. You were unsure and lost hope. You were hiding your fears until you showed them on your sleeve. You felt like everything and everyone was the hammer and you were the nail as they were beating down on you, and it was never-ending. Their empty threats had you scared and you were always running because your weakness was exposed. You were their prey. You didn’t know who to believe because of their mixed signals. You might not see it now, but you are stronger than you can ever imagine. You cannot become comfortable in your pain. You have to let the pain that you feel turn you into a rose without thorns. There are sixteen pieces on the chessboard. The king is the most important piece, but the difference is that the queen is the most powerful piece! You are a queen, you can maneuver around your opponents; they do not have the power over your life, your mind or soul. You might think you’ve been a prisoner, but that is your past’. Look in the now and work your way to how you want your future to be. Exercise your thoughts into a pattern of letting go, and think positively about more of what you want than what you do not want. Queen! You are a queen! As a matter of fact, you are the queen! Act as if you know it! You are powerful, determined, strong, and you can make the biggest and most extravagant move and put it into action. Lights, camera, strike a pose and own it! It is yours to own! Yes, you loved and loved so much. You also lost as well, but you lost hurt, pain, agony, and confusion. You’ve lost interest in wanting to know answers to unanswered questions. You’ve lost the willingness to give a shit about what others think. You’ve surrendered to being fine, that you cannot change the things you have no control over. You’ve lost a lot, but you’ve gained closure. You are now balanced, centered, focused, and filled with peace surrounding you in your heart, mind, body, and soul. Your pride was hurt, but you would rather walk alone and be more willing to give and learn more about the queen you are. You lost yourself in the process, but the more you learn about the new you, the more you will be so much in love with yourself. The more you learn about the new you, the more you will know your worth. The more you learn about the new you, the happier you are going to be, and this time around you will be smiling inside and out! The dots are now connecting. You feel alive! You know now that all is not lost. Now that you’ve cut the cord it is time to give your heart a second chance at loving yourself. Silence your mind. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. As you open your eyes, look at your reflection in the mirror. Aren’t you beautiful, Queen? Embrace who you are. Smile, laugh, welcome the new you and say, “My world is just now beginning.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Okay, okay . . . where do you hear it coming from?” “Around here somewhere.” “Always in this spot?” “No. Not always. You are going to think I am even more insane, but I swear it is following me around.” “Maybe it is my new powers. The power to drive you mad.” She wriggled her fingers at him theatrically as if she were casting a curse on him. “You already drive me mad,” he teased, dragging her up against him and nibbling her neck with a playful growling. “Ah hell,” he broke off. “I really am going mad. I cannot believe you cannot hear that. It is like a metronome set to some ridiculously fast speed.” He turned and walked into the living room, looking around at every shelf. “The last person to own this place probably had a thing for music and left it running. Listen. Can you hear that?” “No,” she said thoughtfully, “but I can hear you hearing it if I concentrate on your thoughts. What in the world . . . ?” Gideon turned, then turned again, concentrating on the rapid sound, following it until it led him right up to his wife. “It is you!” he said. “No wonder it is following me around. Are you wearing a watch?” He grabbed her wrist and she rolled her eyes. “A Demon wearing a watch? Now I have heard everything.” Suddenly Gideon went very, very still, the cold wash of chills that flooded through him so strong that she shivered with the overflow of sensation. He abruptly dropped to his knees and framed her hips with his hands. “Oh, Legna,” he whispered, “I am such an idiot. It is a baby. It is our baby. I am hearing it’s heartbeat!” “What?” she asked, her shock so powerful she could barely speak. “I am with child?” “Yes. Yes, sweet, you most certainly are. A little over a month. Legna, you conceived, probably the first time we made love. My beautiful, fertile, gorgeous wife.” Gideon kissed her belly through her dress, stood up, and caught her up against him until she squeaked with the force of his hug. Legna went past shock and entered unbelievable joy. She laughed, not caring how tight he held her, feeling his joy on a thousand different levels. “I never thought I would know this feeling,” he said hoarsely. “Even when we were getting married, I never thought . . . It did not even enter my mind!” Gideon set her down on her feet, putting her at arm’s length as he scanned her thoroughly from head to toe. “I cannot understand why I did not become aware of this sooner. The chemical changes, the hormone levels alone . . .” “Never mind. We know now,” she said, throwing herself back up against him and hugging him tightly. “Come, we have to tell Noah . . . and Hannah! Oh, and Bella! And Jacob, of course. And Elijah. And we should inform Siena—” She was still rattling off names as she teleported them to the King’s castle.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
We have not thoroughly assessed the bodies snatched from dirt and sand to be chained in a cell. We have not reckoned with the horrendous, violent mass kidnapping that we call the Middle Passage. We have not been honest about all of America's complicity - about the wealth the South earned on the backs of the enslaved, or the wealth the North gained through the production of enslaved hands. We have not fully understood the status symbol that owning bodies offered. We have not confronted the humanity, the emotions, the heartbeats of the multiple generations who were born into slavery and died in it, who never tasted freedom on America's land. The same goes for the Civil War. We have refused to honestly confront the fact that so many were willing to die in order to hold the freedom of others in their hands. We have refused to acknowledge slavery's role at all, preferring to boil things down to the far more palatable "state's rights." We have not confessed that the end of slavery was so bitterly resented, the rise of Jim Crow became inevitable - and with it, a belief in Black inferiority that lives on in hearts and minds today. We have painted the hundred-year history of Jim Crow as little more than mean signage and the inconvenience that white people and Black people could not drink from the same fountain. But those signs weren't just "mean". They were perpetual reminders of the swift humiliation and brutal violence that could be suffered at any moment in the presence of whiteness. Jim Crow meant paying taxes for services one could not fully enjoy; working for meager wages; and owning nothing that couldn't be snatched away. For many black families, it meant never building wealth and never having legal recourse for injustice. The mob violence, the burned-down homes, the bombed churches and businesses, the Black bodies that were lynched every couple of days - Jim Crow was walking through life measuring every step. Even our celebrations of the Civil Rights Movement are sanitized, its victories accentuated while the battles are whitewashed. We have not come to grips with the spitting and shouting, the pulling and tugging, the clubs, dogs, bombs, and guns, the passion and vitriol with which the rights of Black Americans were fought against. We have not acknowledged the bloodshed that often preceded victory. We would rather focus on the beautiful words of Martin Luther King Jr. than on the terror he and protesters endured at marches, boycotts, and from behind jail doors. We don't want to acknowledge that for decades, whiteness fought against every civil right Black Americans sought - from sitting at lunch counters and in integrated classrooms to the right to vote and have a say in how our country was run. We like to pretend that all those white faces who carried protest signs and batons, who turned on their sprinklers and their fire hoses, who wrote against the demonstrations and preached against the changes, just disappeared. We like to pretend that they were won over, transformed, the moment King proclaimed, "I have a dream." We don't want to acknowledge that just as Black people who experienced Jim Crow are still alive, so are the white people who vehemently protected it - who drew red lines around Black neighborhoods and divested them of support given to average white citizens. We ignore that white people still avoid Black neighborhoods, still don't want their kids going to predominantly Black schools, still don't want to destroy segregation. The moment Black Americans achieved freedom from enslavement, America could have put to death the idea of Black inferiority. But whiteness was not prepared to sober up from the drunkenness of power over another people group. Whiteness was not ready to give up the ability to control, humiliate, or do violence to any Black body in the vicinity - all without consequence.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
Part of what kept him standing in the restive group of men awaiting authorization to enter the airport was a kind of paralysis that resulted from Sylvanshine’s reflecting on the logistics of getting to the Peoria 047 REC—the issue of whether the REC sent a van for transfers or whether Sylvanshine would have to take a cab from the little airport had not been conclusively resolved—and then how to arrive and check in and where to store his three bags while he checked in and filled out his arrival and Post-code payroll and withholding forms and orientational materials then somehow get directions and proceed to the apartment that Systems had rented for him at government rates and get there in time to find someplace to eat that was either in walking distance or would require getting another cab—except the telephone in the alleged apartment wasn’t connected yet and he considered the prospects of being able to hail a cab from outside an apartment complex were at best iffy, and if he told the original cab he’d taken to the apartment to wait for him, there would be difficulties because how exactly would he reassure the cabbie that he really was coming right back out after dropping his bags and doing a quick spot check of the apartment’s condition and suitability instead of it being a ruse designed to defraud the driver of his fare, Sylvanshine ducking out the back of the Angler’s Cove apartment complex or even conceivably barricading himself in the apartment and not responding to the driver’s knock, or his ring if the apartment had a doorbell, which his and Reynolds’s current apartment in Martinsburg most assuredly did not, or the driver’s queries/threats through the apartment door, a scam that resided in Claude Sylvanshine’s awareness only because a number of independent Philadelphia commercial carriage operators had proposed heavy Schedule C losses under the proviso ‘Losses Through Theft of Service’ and detailed this type of scam as prevalent on the poorly typed or sometimes even handwritten attachments required to explain unusual or specific C-deductions like this, whereas were Sylvanshine to pay the fare and the tip and perhaps even a certain amount in advance on account so as to help assure the driver of his honorable intentions re the second leg of the sojourn there was no tangible guarantee that the average taxi driver—a cynical and ethically marginal species, hustlers, as even their smudged returns’ very low tip-income-vs.-number-of-fares-in-an-average-shift ratios in Philly had indicated—wouldn’t simply speed away with Sylvanshine’s money, creating enormous hassles in terms of filling out the internal forms for getting a percentage of his travel per diem reimbursed and also leaving Sylvanshine alone, famished (he was unable to eat before travel), phoneless, devoid of Reynolds’s counsel and logistical savvy in the sterile new unfurnished apartment, his stomach roiling in on itself in such a way that it would be all Sylvanshine could do to unpack in any kind of half-organized fashion and get to sleep on the nylon travel pallet on the unfinished floor in the possible presence of exotic Midwest bugs, to say nothing of putting in the hour of CPA exam review he’d promised himself this morning when he’d overslept slightly and then encountered last-minute packing problems that had canceled out the firmly scheduled hour of morning CPA review before one of the unmarked Systems vans arrived to take him and his bags out through Harpers Ferry and Ball’s Bluff to the airport, to say even less about any kind of systematic organization and mastery of the voluminous Post, Duty, Personnel, and Systems Protocols materials he should be receiving promptly after check-in and forms processing at the Post, which any reasonable Personnel Director would expect a new examiner to have thoroughly internalized before reporting for the first actual day interacting with REC examiners, and which there was no way in any real world that Sylvanshine could expect
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
few years later, Demeter took a vacation to the beach. She was walking along, enjoying the solitude and the fresh sea air, when Poseidon happened to spot her. Being a sea god, he tended to notice pretty ladies walking along the beach. He appeared out of the waves in his best green robes, with his trident in his hand and a crown of seashells on his head. (He was sure that the crown made him look irresistible.) “Hey, girl,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. “You must be the riptide, ’cause you sweep me off my feet.” He’d been practicing that pickup line for years. He was glad he finally got to use it. Demeter was not impressed. “Go away, Poseidon.” “Sometimes the sea goes away,” Poseidon agreed, “but it always comes back. What do you say you and me have a romantic dinner at my undersea palace?” Demeter made a mental note not to park her chariot so far away. She really could’ve used her two dragons for backup. She decided to change form and get away, but she knew better than to turn into a snake this time. I need something faster, she thought. Then she glanced down the beach and saw a herd of wild horses galloping through the surf. That’s perfect! Demeter thought. A horse! Instantly she became a white mare and raced down the beach. She joined the herd and blended in with the other horses. Her plan had serious flaws. First, Poseidon could also turn into a horse, and he did—a strong white stallion. He raced after her. Second, Poseidon had created horses. He knew all about them and could control them. Why would a sea god create a land animal like the horse? We’ll get to that later. Anyway, Poseidon reached the herd and started pushing his way through, looking for Demeter—or rather sniffing for her sweet, distinctive perfume. She was easy to find. Demeter’s seemingly perfect camouflage in the herd turned out to be a perfect trap. The other horses made way for Poseidon, but they hemmed in Demeter and wouldn’t let her move. She got so panicky, afraid of getting trampled, that she couldn’t even change shape into something else. Poseidon sidled up to her and whinnied something like Hey, beautiful. Galloping my way? Much to Demeter’s horror, Poseidon got a lot cuddlier than she wanted. These days, Poseidon would be arrested for that kind of behavior. I mean…assuming he wasn’t in horse form. I don’t think you can arrest a horse. Anyway, back in those days, the world was a rougher, ruder place. Demeter couldn’t exactly report Poseidon to King Zeus, because Zeus was just as bad. Months later, a very embarrassed and angry Demeter gave birth to twins. The weirdest thing? One of the babies was a goddess; the other one was a stallion. I’m not going to even try to figure that out. The baby girl was named Despoine, but you don’t hear much about her in the myths. When she grew up, her job was looking after Demeter’s temple, like the high priestess of corn magic or something. Her baby brother, the stallion, was named Arion. He grew up to be a super-fast immortal steed who helped out Hercules and some other heroes, too. He was a pretty awesome horse, though I’m not sure that Demeter was real proud of having a son who needed new horseshoes every few months and was constantly nuzzling her for apples. At this point, you’d think Demeter would have sworn off those gross, disgusting men forever and joined Hestia in the Permanently Single Club. Strangely, a couple of months later, she fell in love with a human prince named Iasion (pronounced EYE-son, I think). Just shows you how far humans had come since Prometheus gave them fire. Now they could speak and write. They could brush their teeth and comb their hair. They wore clothes and occasionally took baths. Some of them were even handsome enough to flirt with goddesses.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)