Why You So Far Away Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Why You So Far Away. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine. And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
The first time, he had wondered why she liked books so much, and if it had anything to do with why he liked spaceships. Because they could take you somewhere far, far away from here.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Your Peter P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
To all of us the thought of heaven is dear --- Why not be sure of it and make it here? No doubt there is a heaven yonder too, But 'tis so far away --- and you are near.
Omar Khayyám (Edward Fitzgerald's The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations))
(It starts with) One thing, I don’t know why It doesn’t even matter how hard you try Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme To explain in due time All I know time is a valuable thing Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings Watch it count down to the end of the day The clock ticks life away It’s so unreal Didn’t look out below Watch the time go right out the window Trying to hold on but didn’t even know Wasted it all just to Watch you go I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I tried so hard And got so far But in the end It doesn't even matter I had to fall To lose it all But in the end It doesn't even matter
Linkin Park
Maybe you should...go." "Why? You seemed so insistent that I train you." "I can't concentrate with you around," I admitted "And go... far. I can feel you from a room away." A suggestive curve shaped his lips.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
I may not know the weight of those things, but I could feel the weight of that one, so I kept it to myself. You know that things aren't going well for you when you can't even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they'll presume you're asking them to feel sorry for you. I suppose it's why you feel so far away from everyone, in the end; anything you can think of to tell them just ends up making them feel terrible.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
This was only the second time Carswell Thorne had stopped to ponder one Kate Fallow. The first time, he had wondered why she liked books so much, and if it had anything to do with why he liked spaceships. Because they could take you somewhere far, far away from here. This time , he was wondering what her math score was.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes. "What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired a hell, and I was not happy. "I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newly weds." "Oh my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. "You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time." "A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenous activities, like a long night of love making, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you." "Yes we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had just poured for him. "What about you princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass. "I'm not hungry."I sighed and sat up. "Oh really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-" "It means last night is none of your business," I snapped.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Secrets are my currency: I deal in them for a living. The secrets of desire, of what people really want, and of what they fear the most. The secrets of why love is difficult, sex complicated, living painful and death so close and yet placed far away. Why are pleasure and punishment closely related? How do our bodies speak? Why do we make ourselves ill? Why do you want to fail? Why is pleasure hard to bear?
Hanif Kureishi
You need to come with us right now," one of the queen's guards said. "If you resist, we'll take you by force." "Leave him alone!" I yelled, looking from face to face. That angry darkness exploded within me. How could they still not believe? Why were they still coming after him? "He hasn't done anything! Why can't you guys accept that he's really a dhampir now?" The man who'd spoken arched an eyebrow. "I wasn't talking to him." "You're...you're here for me?" I asked. I tried to think of any new spectacles I might have caused recently. I considered the crazy idea that the queen had found out I'd spent the night with Adrian and was pissed off about it. That was hardly enough to send the palace guard for me, though...or was it? Had I really gone too far with my antics? "What for?" demanded Dimitri. That tall, wonderful bod of his—the one that could be so sensual sometimes—was filled with tension and menace now. The man kept his gaze on me, ignoring Dimitri. "Don't make me repeat myself: Come with us quietly, or we will make you." The glimmer of handcuffs showed in his hands. My eyes went wide. "That's crazy! I'm not going anywhere until you tel me how the hell this—" That was the point at which they apparently decided I wasn't coming quietly. Two of the royal guardians lunged for me, and even though we technically worked for the same side, my instincts kicked in. I didn't understand anything here except that I would not be dragged away like some kind of master criminal. I shoved the chair I'd been sitting in earlier at the one of the guardians and aimed a punch at the other. It was a sloppy throw, made worse because he was taller than me. That height difference allowed me to dodge his next grab, and when I kicked hard at his legs, a grunt told me I'd hit home. [...] Meanwhile, other guardians were joining the fray. Although I got a couple of good punches in, I knew the numbers were too overwhelming. One guardian caught hold of my arm and began trying to put the cuffs on me. He stopped when another set of hands grabbed me from the other side and jerked me away. Dimitri. "Don't touch her," he growled. There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. [...] The queen's guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri...well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else's, and he was using them all in defense me. "Stay back," he ordered me. "They aren't laying a hand on you.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
You know that things aren’t going well for you when you can’t even tell people the simplest fact about your life, just because they’ll presume you’re asking them to feel sorry for you. I suppose it’s why you feel so far away from everyone, in the end; anything you can think of to tell them just ends up making them feel terrible.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
For any one group today to think it has the best grasp on the creator of the universe is a form of insanity. Run away—far and quickly—when you see this.
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles." "God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid." "This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive." Both of them stopped breathing. Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much. Adam shoved open the door. "Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious. Gansey close his eyes. Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over. He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him. In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them. Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
FORBIDDEN Pain without learning is forbidden, waking up one day not knowing what to do, being afraid of your memories. It is forbidden not to smile at problems, not to fight for what you want, to abandon all because of fears, not to realize your dreams. It is forbidden not to show your love, to be ashamed of your tears, to not laugh with children, to make someone else pay your debts, bad humor. It is forbidden to forget your friends, to not try to understand why they live far away, to treat people as disposable, to call them only when you need them. It is forbidden to not be yourself in front of others, pretending around people you don’t care about, trying to be funny just so you'll be remembered, to forget about all the people who love you. It is forbidden not to do things for yourself, to be afraid of life and its commitments, to not to live each day as if it were your last. It forbidden to take someone out without having fun, to forget their eyes, their laugh, to not respect love even if it is past, just because your paths have stopped crossing, to forget your past and only live in the moment. It is forbidden not to try to understand people, to think that other’s lives are worth more than yours, to not know that each one of us has our own way and our own happiness. It is forbidden not create your own story, to have no time for people who need you, to not understand what life gives to you, and that it can also be taken away. It is forbidden not find your happiness, to not live your life with a positive attitude, to not think we can do better and be better, to feel that without you, this world would still be the same...
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
I just wish moments weren’t so fleeting!' Isaac called to the man on the roof, 'They pass so quickly!' 'Fleeting?!' responded the tilling man, 'Moments? They pass quickly?! . . . Why, once a man is finished growing, he still has twenty years of youth. After that, he has twenty years of middle age. Then, unless misfortune strikes, nature gives him twenty thoughtful years of old age. Why do you call that quickly?' And with that, the tilling man wiped his sweaty brow and continued tilling; and the dejected Isaac continued wandering. 'Stupid fool!' Isaac muttered quietly to himself as soon as he was far enough away not to be heard.
Roman Payne (Hope and Despair)
This was only the second time Carswell Thorne had stopped to ponder one Kate Fallow. The first time, he had wondered why she liked books so much, and if it had anything to do with why he liked spaceships. Because they could take you somewhere far, far away from here.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
Now I'm hot and bothered, and wondering why my new neighbor isn't putting the moves on me." "Maybe he doesn't want to push you too far, too fast and scare you off." Gideon's eyes glittered in the light of the television. "Is that so?" He nuzzled his nose against my temple. "If he has half a brain, he'd know not to let you get away." Oh... "Maybe I should make the first move," I whispered, wrapping my fingers around his wrist. "But what if he thinks I'm too easy?" "He'll be too busy thinking he's damned luck.
Sylvia Day (Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3))
I had a dream about you. It's been a while since I could remember any of my dreams, and still, this one has left me with such strong impression. Even now, when I am fully awake, your face flashes before my eyes. It's a face I can totally relate to, as if it wasn't any more yours than it is mine. Terrifying thing, you know? I can't say I've felt that sort of intimacy with anyone. For a moment you knew all my secrets, without me even having to tell them. For a moment I even knew them myself… While I was looking into your eyes, I suddenly started to realize things about myself that were unspoken for years, like fragments of my inner life that were deeply repressed. It’s hard to distinguish if they were buried inside because dealing with them was such a dirty work, or if leaving them unnamed meant that it was not possible to define them precisely enough, so they would keep their true meaning. Perhaps, all this life that I've known so far was in fact no more but a dream about living. The only thing that has kept me in touch with reality was you… I know it comes as a surprise, and you may be wondering why it took me so long to come clean. You also may be wondering how come you've never noticed before. I've tricked you on purpose, yes, and you must realize it really has nothing to do with you. It’s always been me. This is why, seeing you in my dream like that, came out as a shock. You also must forgive me. You must forgive me because I know how it looks like, that everything we ever shared was a lie, and it wasn't… I am more of an illusionist that a deceiver, but it all comes from being in fact, a very private person. Even if it was true that you knew me better than anyone, I’d never admit it. I’d rather dig my own heart out, with a rotten spoon, than admitting it. I may let people in my own little world occasionally, but I would never let them be aware of it. I don’t throw my intimacy in front of others, especially when I care. The more I care, the less I give away, and this is something for you to understand, and grant me your forgiveness. I didn't play my tricks on you in order to deceive you, but rather to save myself, and maybe even deceive myself as well. I’ve had hidden my feelings for you so deeply that I've learned to live with them, as if any other casualty. I have done wrong to myself as much as I did to you, and I don’t know if I can forgive myself. So now I wonder, could you forgive me without feeling sorry for me? I certainly don’t deserve your pity. Especially not now that I am awake.
Aleksandra Ninković (Dreaming is for lovers)
Oscar Wilde said: 'Each man kills the thing he loves.' And it's true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal - when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it. Renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird. But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.” The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage. She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.” However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage. One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds. If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body. Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. “Why have you come?” she asked Death. “So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied. “If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
It was the shadow of Some one who had gone by long before: of Some one who had gone on far away quite out of reach, never, never to come back. It was bright to look at; and when the tiny woman showed it to the Princess, she was proud of it with all her heart, as a great, great, treasure. When the Princess had considered it a little while, she said to the tiny woman, And you keep watch over this, every day? And she cast down her eyes, and whispered, Yes. Then the Princess said, Remind me why. To which the other replied, that no one so good and so kind had ever passed that way, and that was why in the beginning. She said, too, that nobody missed it, that nobody was the worse for it, that Some one had gone on to those who were expecting him-- 'Some one was a man then?' interposed Maggy. Little Dorrit timidly said yes, she believed so; and resumed: '-- Had gone on to those who were expecting him, and that this remembrance was stolen or kept back from nobody. The Princess made answer, Ah! But when the cottager died it would be discovered there. The tiny woman told her No; when that time came, it would sink quietly into her own grave, and would never be found.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
Stand as far away from me as you can And ask me why Hang on to your rosary beads Close your eyes to watch me die You keep saying kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it God, but did you ever try To turn your sick soul inside out So that the world So that the world Can watch you die
Gil Scott-Heron
Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years. “I think you’re crazy,” was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar’s discovery. “Who wants to know?” Dunbar answered. “I mean it,” Clevinger insisted. “Who cares?” Dunbar answered. “I really do. I’ll even go as far as to concede that life seems longer i—“ “—is longer i—“ “—is longer—IS longer? All right, is longer if it’s filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b—“ “Guess how fast?” Dunbar said suddenly. “Huh?” “They go,” Dunbar explained. “Who?” “Years.” “Years?” “Years,” said Dunbar. “Years, years, years.” “Do you know how long a year takes when it’s going away?” Dunbar asked Clevinger. “This long.” He snapped his fingers. “A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you’re an old man.” “Old?” asked Clevinger with surprise. “What are you talking about?” “Old.” “I’m not old.” “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?” Dunbar was almost angry when he finished. “Well, maybe it is true,” Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it’s to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?” “I do,” Dunbar told him. “Why?” Clevinger asked. “What else is there?
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Go away,” I say. He raises his hands in surrender and takes a step back. “This far?” “Farther.” Another step. “Better?” “Yes,” I smart. Silas grins. “I don’t know myself well, but I can tell I have a lot of game.” “Oh, please,” I say. “If you were a game, Silas, you’d be Monopoly. You just go on and on and everyone ends up cheating just to be over with it.” He’s quiet for a minute. I feel bad for saying something so awkward even if it was a joke. “You’re probably right,” he laughs. “That’s why you cheated on me with that asshat, Brian. Lucky for you, I’m not Monopoly Silas anymore. I’m Tetris Silas. All my pieces and parts are going to fit into all of your pieces and parts.
Colleen Hoover (Never Never (Never Never, #1))
This was only the second time Carswell Thorne had stopped to ponder one Kate Fallow. The first time, he had wondered why she liked books so much, and if it was similar to why he liked spaceships. Because they could take you somewhere far, far away from here.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
To all of us the thought of heaven is dear - Why not be sure of it and make it here? No doubt there is a heaven yonder too, But 'tis so far away - and you are near. Men talk of heaven, - there is no heaven but here; Men talk of hell, - there is no hell but here; Men of hereafters talk, and future lives, O love, there is no other life - but here.
Richard Le Gallienne (رباعيات خيام)
My only one! In your last letter "My head aches my heart is stunned!" you say. "If they hang you, if I lose you;" you say; "I can't live!" You'll live my dearest wife, like a black smoke in the wind my memory will vanish; you'll live, the red-haired sister of my heart at most one year it lasts in the twentieth century the grief of death.. Death a dead body swinging on a rope. My heart doesn't accept such a death.. But be sure that, my love, if some pitiable gypsy's hairy black spider like hand slips the rope around my neck, to see the fear in my blue eyes they'll look in vain at Nâzım! And I, in the twilight of my last morning, shall see my friends and you, and carry only the grief of an unfinished song to the soil... My wife! Good hearted, golden coloured, with eyes sweeter than honey, my bee; why did I write you that they want to hang me, the trial is in the first step and they don't pluck like a turnip the head of a man. Come, forget them all. These are so far away probabilities. If you have some money buy me a flannel underwear, my sciatica is acting up. And don't forget that always there should be good thoughts in the mind of a prisoner's wife.
Nâzım Hikmet
A hedgehog flies from the safety of a bush, startling me. It darts past us in a terrible hurry. Kartik nods toward the furry little thing. "Don't mind him. He's off to meet his lady friend." "How can you be sure?" "He has on his best hedgehog suit." "Ah, I should have noticed." I say, happy to be playing this game-any game-with him. I put my hand on the tree's trunk and swing myself around it slowly, letting my body feel gravity's pull. "And why has he worn his best?" "He's been away in London, you see, and now he has returned to her," Kartik continues. "And what if she is angry with him for being away so long?" Kartik circles just behind me. "She will forgive him." "Will she?" I say pointedly. "It is his hope that she will, for he didn't mean to upset her." Kartik answers, and I am no longer sure we speak of the hedgehog. "And is he happy to see her again?" "Yes," Kartik says. "He should like to stay longer, but he cannot." The bark chafes against my hand. "Why is that?" "He has his reasons, and hopes his lady will understand them one day." Kartik has changed direction. He comes around the other side of the tree. We are face to face. A palm of moonglow reaches through the branches to caress his face. "Oh," I say, heart beating fast. "And what would the lady hedgehog say to that?" he asks. His voice soft and low. "She would say..." I swallow hard. Kartik steps closer. "Yes?" "She would say," I whisper, "'If you please, I am not a hedgehog. I am a woodchuck.'" A small smile plays at Kartik's lips. "He is fortunate to have so witty a lady friend," he says, and I wish I could have the moment back again to play differently.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
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))
William: What are you looking for in a woman? Reyes: I’ve found my angel, Danika. She’s all I need. William: Really? That’s, like, weird to me. Men should need many girls. No one girl should be so important. Reyes: How sad for you. William: I’m not sad. You’re sad! Reyes: Why are you so defensive about this? William: Let’s move on. Favorite outfit? Reyes: First, you said girls rather than women. Why is that, I wonder? Because you care about one girl in particular? Anyway, clothes are clothes. I don’t have any favorites. William: Go to hell. I care about no one and I’m proud to admit that! Favorite moment in the series so far? Reyes: The first time Danika looked at me with trust and acceptance in her eyes. I’m still reeling. William: And just so you know, girl was a slip of the tongue. Now. Least favorite moment in the series? Reyes: Every time I had to kill Maddox. William: Really? That would have been my favorite. Anyway, hobbies? Reyes: Do you really have to ask? Yes? Fine. Cutting myself. I’ve started to draw shapes. Like hearts. William: You actually admitted that aloud. [snicker] [..] Reyes: Happy for the first time in what seems an eternity. William: Not that you deserve it. Really, I didn’t say girl for any particular reason. So what do you think of the fact that your home has been invaded by women? Reyes: As long as I have Danika, I don’t care who lives with us. William: Who do you think is the smartest Lord? Reyes: Me. Look who I picked to spend eternity with. William: I think you’re the dumbest! Seriously, girl was meant to encompass everyone old enough to be bedded by me. Now, if you knew you only had twenty-four hours before the Hunters found Pandora’s box and killed you, what would you do in the time you had left to live? Reyes: Not even death can keep me away from my angel. I would find a way to change such a fate. Again. William: What kind of underwear are you wearing? Note from William: Bastard flipped me off and left. Final thoughts from William: Reyes’s thoughts about me and my slip of the tongue were ridiculous and unfounded!
Gena Showalter (Into the Dark (Lords of the Underworld, #0.5,3.5; Atlantis #4.5))
So, sweeting, why were you threatening to throw Tate out of the house? What did he say?” Leather brushed her chin as he tipped it up. Serious dark eyes met hers. “What did he say?” She glanced around; surely the footmen were too far away to hear. “He wanted to join us in our bed.” “I’ll run him through.” “No! Perhaps he only said it to goad you into a duel. Perhaps it was intended as a way to kill you.” “It was an insult to you, love. That can’t be ignored.” “And so you rush inexorably toward death. I don’t care if he stands on a Drury Lane stage and calls me a courtesan, I won’t have you risking your life.
Sharon Page (Black Silk (Rodesson's Daughters, #2))
I can hear myself whining again 'Why does God torture me?' - But anybody who's never had a delirium tremens even in their early stages may not understand that it's not so much a physical pain but a mental anguish indescribable to those ignorant people who don't drink and accuse drinkers of irresponsibility - The mental anguish is so intense that you feel you have betrayed your very birth, the efforts nay the birth pangs of your mother when she bore you and delivered you to the world, you've betrayed every effort your father ever made to feed you and raise you and make you strong and my God even 'educate' you for life, you feel a guilt so deep you identify yourself with the devil and God seems far away abandoning you to your sick silliness - You feel sick in the greatest sense of the world, breathing without believing it, sicksicksick, your soul groans, you look at your helpless hands as tho they were on fire and you can't move to help, you look at the world with dead eyes, there's on your face an expression of incalculable repining like a constipated angel on a cloud - In fact it's actually a cancerous look you throw on the world, through browngray wool fuds over your eyes - Your tongue is white and disgusting, your teeth are stained, your hair seems to have dried out overnight, there are huge mucks in the corners of your eyes, greases on your nose, froth at the sides of your moth: in short that very disgusting and well-known hideousness everybody knows who's walked past a city street drunk in the Boweries of the world
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Why did you leave in the first place?” Linus hung his head. “Sometimes, you don’t know what you have until it’s no longer there. And I needed to be your voice. So those far away would hear you for all that you are.
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea)
Good morning on the 7th of July. while still in bed my thoughts turn towards you my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether Fate might answer us. – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, yes, I have resolved to stray about far away until I can fly into your arms, and feel at home with you, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits. – Yes, unfortunately it must be. – You will compose yourself, all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never. – Oh God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in V[ienna] as it is now is a miserable life. – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy. – At my age, I would now need some conformity regularity in my life – can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I just learned that the post goes every day – and I must therefore conclude so that you get the l[etter] straightway – be patient, only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – be calm – love me – today – yesterday. – What yearning with tears for you – you – you – my life – my everything – farewell – oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved L. Forever thine forever mine forever us.
Ludwig van Beethoven
It's long past dark, and I don't see anyone walking tonight. Maybe Sundays are off-limits. Maybe my ninja girl even goes to bed and gives her swaying, beautiful hair a break. I wonder where she sneaks off to. I wonder, does she have a secret boyfriend or a favorite place? The ants say: What the hell are you doing to yourself? You'll never see her again. She lives two thousand miles away! Then I think of Granddad and wonder why I dream about a man who is twelve thousand miles away. It makes me ask: Why do I care so much about people who are so far away from me?
A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants)
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
By the time we reached the front door of the party house—a total mansion, like Harrison had said—Nathan was far behind us. Well, he’d promised to stay out of our hair. “Wow,” I heard Bailey gasp as the front door swung open for us, though I wasn’t sure if that was her reaction to the freakishly large house or to the drop-dead-gorgeous guy standing in front of us. “Good evening, ladies,” he said, stepping aside to let us enter. Automatically, I found myself standing up taller and sliding my shoulder blades back for optimum cleavage exposure. It was like a flirting reflex. I just wished I wasn’t all sunburned. “Hello to you.” He grinned at me. A cocky, sexy grin. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he said. He glanced at Bailey then. “Any of us. I’m sure I’d remember those pretty faces.” I swear, Bailey was blushing so hard I could feel the heat radiating from her body. “Oh, you’d remember,” I agreed, tossing back my hair and putting a hand on my hip. “I’m Whi—” “Whitley!” I jumped and spun around involuntarily. Harrison was standing beside me, looking thoroughly delighted. “Hello again, darling. You look gorgeous—and the lack of flip-flops is making my day. Those slingbacks are perfect!” I nodded, glancing over my shoulder at the hot guy, but he’d already moved on and was chatting with a group of kids a few feet away. Goddamn it. “Wesley is just so busy,” Harrison said, following my gaze. “You have to give him credit for being a great host. He talks to everyone. Seems like way too much work to me.
Kody Keplinger (A Midsummer's Nightmare (Hamilton High, #3))
Mia faces me now. The wind is whipping her hair this way and that so she looks like some kind of mystical sorceress, beautiful, powerful, and scary at the same time. She shakes her head and starts to turn away. Oh, no! We’ve come this far over the bridge. She can blow the damn thing up if she wants to. But not without telling me everything. I grab her, turn her to face me. “Why not? Tell me. You owe me this!” She looks at me, square in the eye. Taking aim. And then she pulls the trigger. “Because I hated you.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
What’s your name?” The creature practically purred the question at her. His voice was low and smooth, completely unaccented. His nostrils flared slightly, as though inhaling her scent. “Um . . .” Mia swallowed nervously. “M-Mia.” “Mia,” he repeated slowly, seemingly savoring her name. “Mia what?” “Mia Stalis.” Oh crap, why did he want to know her name? Why was he here, talking to her? In general, what was he doing in Central Park, so far away from any of the K Centers? Breathe, Mia, breathe. “Relax, Mia Stalis.” His smile got wider, exposing a dimple in his left cheek. A dimple? Ks had dimples? “Have you never encountered one of us before?
Anna Zaires (Close Liaisons (The Krinar Chronicles, #1))
But, careful! Jesus does not say, Go off and do things on your own. No! That is not what he is saying. Jesus says, Go, for I am with you! This is what is so beautiful for us; it is what guides us. If we go out to bring his Gospel with love, with a true apostolic spirit, with parrhesia, he walks with us, he goes ahead of us, and he gets there first. As we say in Spanish, nos primerea. By now you know what I mean by this. It is the same thing that the Bible tells us. In the Bible, the Lord says: I am like the flower of the almond. Why? Because that is the first flower to blossom in the spring. He is always the first! This is fundamental for us: God is always ahead of us! When we think about going far away, to an extreme outskirt, we may be a bit afraid, but in fact God is already there. Jesus is waiting for us in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, in their wounded bodies, in their hardships, in their lack of faith.
Pope Francis (The Church of Mercy)
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))
It would be good to give much thought, before you try to find words for something so lost, for those long childhood afternoons you knew that vanished so completely -and why? We're still reminded-: sometimes by a rain, but we can no longer say what it means; life was never again so filled with meeting, with reunion and with passing on as back then, when nothing happened to us except what happens to things and creatures: we lived their world as something human, and became filled to the brim with figures. And became as lonely as a shepherd and as overburdened by vast distances, and summoned and stirred as from far away, and slowly, like a long new thread, introduced into that picture-sequence where now having to go on bewilders us.
Rainer Maria Rilke
When he can't take anymore, Galen plucks his phone from his pocket and dials, then hangs up. When the call is returned, he says, "Hey, sweet lips." The females at the table hush each other to get a better listen. A few of them whip their heads toward Emma to see if she's on the other end of the conversation. Satisfied she's not, they lean closer. Rachel snorts. "If only you liked sweets." "I can't wait to see you tonight. Wear that pink shirt I like." Rachel laughs. "Sounds like you're in what we humans like to call a pickle. My poor, drop-dead-gorgeous sweet pea. Emma still not talking to you, leaving you alone with all those hormonal girls?" "Eight-thirty? That's so far away. Can't I meet you sooner?" One of the females actually gets up and takes her tray and her attitude to another table. Galen tries not to get too excited. "Do you need to be checked out of school, son? Are you feeling ill?" Galen tosses a glance at Emma, who's picking a pepperoni off her pizza and eyeing it as if it were dolphin dung. "I can't skip school to meet you again, boo. But I'll be thinking about you. No one but you." A few more females get up and stalk their trays to the trash. The cheerleader in front of him rolls her eyes and starts a conversation with the chubby brunette beside her-the same chubby brunette she pushed into a locker to get to him two hours ago. "Be still my heart," Rachel drawls. "But seriously, I can't read your signals. I don't know what you're asking me to do." "Right now, nothing. But I might change my mind about skipping. I really miss you." Rachel clears her throat. "All right, sweet pea. You just let your mama know, and she'll come get her wittle boy from school, okay?" Galen hangs up. Why is Emma laughing again? Mark can't be that funny. The girl beside him clues him in: "Mark Baker. All the girls love him. But not as much as they love you. Except maybe Emma, I guess." "Speaking of all these girls, how did they get my phone number?" She giggles. "It's written on the wall in the girls' bathroom. One hundred hall." She holds her cell phone up to his face. An image of his number scrawled onto a stall door lights up the screen. In Emma's handwriting.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
In choosing to be a Psychology major, I decided to learn for the joy of learning for the first time in my life. I'd always been fascinated by human nature. What makes us act the way we do? Why do we make the same mistakes over and over? But I guess my interest is purely theoretical. I'm a Psychology major who has no desire to work with people. This was poor planning on my part, I suppose. My parents definitely think so. But choosing passion over practicality seemed so honorable when I was a first-year student and graduation seemed so very, very far away . . . But now, a semester away from unemployment, I realize how much better off those Engineering students really are. Sure, they're boring conversationalists that make you want to kill yourself because every story begins, “The other day? In the lab?” But people become a whole helluva lot more interesting when they're pulling down six figures, don't they? If I'm going to drag my friends out to my cardboard box, the pressure's on to provide some pretty goddamned sparkling conversation once they get there. And even with all my noble knowledge for knowledge's sake, I'm not sure I can.
Megan McCafferty (Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling, #3))
the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives. Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal—when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
To all of us the thought of heaven is dear— Why not be sure of it and make it here? No doubt there is a heaven yonder too, But ’tis so far away—and you are near.   Men talk of heaven,—there is no heaven but here; Men talk of hell,—there is no hell but here; Men of hereafters talk, and future lives,— O love, there is no other life—but here.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
Oh, Lord, sometimes I know how David feels. Where are You when I need You? Why do You seem so far away? Why are You so silent? I can count my blessings from morning to night. I can remember all the things You’ve done for me from the time I was a little child. I remember and I cry out to You, and You’re nowhere to be found. I have lost my joy.
Francine Rivers (The Atonement Child)
I looked around the garden, the sun feeling warm on my back. "So why are you here? I would think you'd want to be as far away from a hurricane as possible." She looked at me as if I'd just suggested streaking down the beach. It took her a moment to answer. "Because this is home." She wanted to see if the words registered with me, but I just looked back at her, not understanding at all. After a deep breath, she looked up at a tall oak tree beyond the garden, its leaves still green against the early October sky, the limbs now thick with foliage. "Because the water recedes, and the sun comes out, and the trees grow back. Because" -she spread her hands, indicated the garden and the trees and, I imagined, the entire peninsula of Biloxi- "because we've learned that great tragedy gives us opportunities for great kindness. It's like a needed reminder that the human spirit is alive and well despite all evidence to the contrary." She lowered her hands to her sides. "I figured I wasn't dead, so I must not be done
Karen White (The Beach Trees)
The berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when—if you want to come back.” Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. “I don’t know what to say.” His bare hand flexed on the crow’s head of his cane. The sight was so strange Inej had trouble tearing her eyes from it. “Say you’ll return.” “I’m not done with Ketterdam.” She hadn’t known she meant it until she said the words. Kaz cast her a swift glance. “I thought you wanted to hunt slavers.” “I do. And I want your help.” Inej licked her lips, tasted the ocean on them. Her life had been a series of impossible moments, so why not ask for something impossible now? “It’s not just the slavers. It’s the procurers, the customers, the Barrel bosses, the politicians. It’s everyone who turns a blind eye to suffering when there’s money to be made.” “I’m a Barrel boss.” “You would never sell someone, Kaz. You know better than anyone that you’re not just one more boss scraping for the best margin.” “The bosses, the customers, the politicians,” he mused. “That could be half the people in Ketterdam—and you want to fight them all.” “Why not?” Inej asked. “One the seas and in the city. One by one.” “Brick by brick,” he said. Then he gave a single shake of his head, as if shrugging off the notion. “I wasn’t made to be a hero, Wraith. You should have learned that by now. You want me to be a better man, a good man. I—“ “This city doesn’t need a good man. It needs you.” “Inej—“ “How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night. We don’t go after all the gangs. We don’t shut down the houses that treat fairly with their employees. We go after women like Tante Heleen, men like Pekka Rollins.” She paused. “And think about it this way…you’ll be thinning the competition.” He made a sound that might almost have been a laugh. One of his hands balanced on his cane. The other rested at his side next to her. She’d need only move the smallest amount and they’d be touching. He was that close. He was that far from reach. Cautiously, she let her knuckles brush against his, a slight weight, a bird’s feather. He stiffened, but he didn’t pull away. “I’m not ready to give up on this city, Kaz. I think it’s worth saving.” I think you’re worth saving. Once they’d stood on the deck of a ship and she’d waited just like this. He had not spoken then and he did not speak now. Inej felt him slipping away, dragged under, caught in an undertow that would take him farther and farther from shore. She understood suffering and knew it was a place she could not follow, not unless she wanted to drown too. Back on Black Veil, he’d told her they would fight their way out. Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. She would fight for him, but she could not heal him. She would not waste her life trying. She felt his knuckles slide again hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly, he let their fingers entwine.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
There are various theories about why the years seem to pass faster as you get older. The most popular is also the most obvious. As you get older, each year is a smaller percentage of your life. If you are ten years old, a year is ten percent. If you are fifty years old, a year is two percent. But she read a theory that spurned that explanation. The theory states that time passes faster when we are in a set routine, when we aren't learning anything new, when we stay stuck in a life pattern. They key to making time slow down is to have new experiences. You may joke that the week you went on vacation flew by far too quickly, but if you stop and think about it, that week actually seemed to last much longer than one involving the drudgery of your day job. You are complaining about it going away so fast because you loved it, not because it felt as though time was passing faster. If you want to slow down time, this theory holds: If you want to make the days last, do something different. Travel to exotic locales. Take a class.
Harlan Coben (Don't Let Go)
That said, I don’t really understand the point of the royal princes joining the army. Why send a couple of pampered party boys like Harry or William in to fight? In a war you need a ruthless, merciless killing machine, someone like Andy McNab, or Prince Philip. Prince Philip is the perfect soldier: he likes shooting things and he’s a racist. He’d kill his own daughter-in-law if he thought he could get away with it.
Frankie Boyle (My Shit Life So Far)
Sometimes a fruit falls from a tree and rolls so far away from its roots that it's no longer of the tree. The hard fall, and long journey, bruises the fruit so much that it totally changes it. Its the same way for some of our people. This is why some cant be awakened regardless of how much truth you present to them. This journey has totally brainwashed them to such a degree that they're no longer of the original tree.
Malcolm X (Quotations of Malcolm X)
Where did this whole thing begin? If what we think of as reality is just a pattern that somebody brought Outside, and the universe just popped into bring, then whoever it was is probably still wandering around giving off universes wherever she goes So where did she come from? And what was there before she started doing it? And how did Outside come to exist, for that matter?” That's Inspace thinking,” said Olhado. “That's the way you conceive of things when you still believe in space and time as absolutes. You think of everything starting and stopping, of things having origins, because that's the way it is in the observable universe. The thing is, Outside there's no rules like that at all. Outside was always there and always will be there. The number of philotes there is infinite, and all of them always existed. No mater how many of them you pull out and put into organized universes, there'll be just as many left as there always were” But somebody had to start making universes.” Why?” asked Olhado. Because-because I-“ Nobody ever started. It's always been going on. I mean, if it weren’t already going on, it couldn’t start. Outside where there weren’t any patterns, it would be impossible to conceive of a pattern. They can’t act, by definition, because they literally can’t even find themselves.” But how could it have always been going on?” Think of it as this moment in time, the reality we live in at this moment, this condition of the entire universe-of all the universes-” You mean now.” Right. Think of it as if now were the surface of a sphere. Time is moving forward through the chaos of Outside like the surface of an expanding sphere, a balloon inflating. On the outside, chaos. On the inside, reality. Always growing-like you said, Valentine. Popping up new universes all the time.” But where did this balloon come from?” OK, you’ve got the balloon. The expanding sphere. Only now think of it as a sphere with an infinite radius.” Valentine tried to think of what that would mean. “The surface would be completely flat.” That’s right” And you could never go all the way around it” That’s right, too. Infinitely large. Impossible even to count all the universes that exist on the reality side. And now, starting from the edge, you get on a starship and start heading inward toward the center. The farther in you go, the older everything is. All the old universes back and back. When do you get to the first one?” You don’t” said Valentine. “Not it you’re traveling at a finate rate.” You don’t reach the center of a sphere on infinite radius, if you’re starting at the surface, because no matter how far you go, no matter how quickly, the center, the beginning, is always infinitely far away.” And that’s where the universe began.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
I wasn't trying to have sex with you the other night," he said, "And I am so, so sorry if I made you feel that way." He was so close and so far away, as if there was an imaginary pane of glass between them. She wanted him to hug her and make the tension go way. "No, I didn't think that at all. That's not why I told you." "This should go without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway, partly because I want to, but also because I think you need to hear it. If knowing you're asexual makes someone see you differently, then they don't deserve to be in your life. My feelings for you are exactly the same as they were an hour ago. This doesn't change anything between us.
Claire Kann (Let's Talk About Love)
We cleave our way through the mountains until the interstate dips into a wide basin brimming with blue sky, broken by dusty roads and rocky saddles strung out along the southern horizon. This is our first real glimpse of the famous big-sky country to come, and I couldn't care less. For all its grandeur, the landscape does not move me. And why should it? The sky may be big, it may be blue and limitless and full of promise, but it's also really far away. Really, it's just an illusion. I've been wasting my time. We've all been wasting our time. What good is all this grandeur if it's impermanent, what good all of this promise if it's only fleeting? Who wants to live in a world where suffering is the only thing that lasts, a place where every single thing that ever meant the world to you can be stripped away in an instant? And it will be stripped away, so don't fool yourself. If you're lucky, your life will erode slowly with the ruinous effects of time or recede like the glaciers that carved this land, and you will be left alone to sift through the detritus. If you are unlucky, your world will be snatched out from beneath you like a rug, and you'll be left with nowhere to stand and nothing to stand on. Either way, you're screwed. So why bother? Why grunt and sweat and weep your way through the myriad obstacles, why love, dream, care, when you're only inviting disaster? I'm done answering the call of whippoorwills, the call of smiling faces and fireplaces and cozy rooms. You won't find me building any more nests among the rose blooms. Too many thorns.
Jonathan Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving)
Why have you done all this for me?" She turned her head to look at him. "Tell me the truth." He shook his head slowly. "I don't think I could have been more terrified of the devil than I was of you," she said, "when it was happening and in my thoughts and nightmares afterward. And when you came home to Willoughby and I realized that the Duke of Ridgeway was you, I thought I would die from the horror of it." His face was expressionless. "I know," he said. "I was afraid of your hands more than anything," she said. "They are beautiful hands." He said nothing. "When did it all change?" she asked. She turned completely toward him and closed the distance between them. "You will not say the words yourself. But they are the same words as the ones on my lips, aren't they?" She watched him swallow. "For the rest of my life I will regret saying them," she said. "But I believe I would regret far more not saying them." "Fleur," he said, and reached out a staying hand. "I love you," she said. "No." "I love you." "It is just that we have spent a few days together," he said, "and talked a great deal and got to know each other. It is just that I have been able to help you a little and you are feeling grateful to me." "I love you," she said. "Fleur." She reached up to touch his scar. "I am glad I did not know you before this happened," she said. "I do not believe I would have been able to stand the pain." "Fleur," he said, taking her wrist in his hand. "Are you crying?" she said. She lifted both arms and wrapped them about his neck and laid her cheek against his shoulder. "Don't, my love. I did not mean to lay a burden on you. I don't mean to do so. I only want you to know that you are loved and always will be." "Fleur," he said, his voice husky from his tears, "I have nothing to offer you, my love. I have nothing to give you. My loyalty is given elsewhere. I didn't want this to happen. I don't want it to happen. You will meet someone else. When I am gone you will forget and you will be happy." She lifted her head and looked into his face. She wiped away one of his tears with one finger. "I am not asking anything in return," she said. "I just want to give you something, Adam. A free gift. My love. Not a burden, but a gift. To take with you when you go, even though we will never see each other again." He framed her face with his hands and gazed down into it. "I so very nearly did not recognize you," he said. "You were so wretchedly thin, Fleur, and pale. Your lips were dry and cracked, your hair dull and lifeless. But I did know you for all that. I think I would still be in London searching for you if you had not gone to that agency. But it's too late, love. Six years too late.
Mary Balogh (The Secret Pearl)
Rain comes from the east one night We watch it come To hang like beaded curtains Till the morning sun Water dripping from our clothes You with raindrops on your nose Ask me sadly "Please don't go away now" Till the rain is done, I say "I'll stay now" Rain outside but inside we don't mind at all Shadows by the fire slowly climb and fall Kisses fade and leave no trace Whispers vanish into space The dawn will send me on a chase to nowhere Why cry as if I were the first to go there And I know I shouldn't be here Yes, I know I should go home But that eastern rain drones in my brain And I'm so all alone, so all alone Morning comes up from the east We watch it come And far away now rolls the ancient rain God's drum You with daybreak in your eyes Afraid to speak for telling lies I watch you search for some reply to lend me But when the rain is done There's no pretending "Eastern Rain" from Second Fret Sets
Joni Mitchell
This morning, Ray Bradbury is dead and there is only soy milk at my coffee shop. I do not know which to be more sad about, that my body and I are suddenly uncomfortable or that a man I have never met, far away, has stopped breathing. My heartbeat will end one day. It is a miracle it’s lasted this long, not because I have wished it otherwise, but because my car keeps overheating. My car is huge compared to my heart. A writing prompt, given to me on a bicycle ride last week: “What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done lately, and why?” I climbed the Pillsbury building, because I wanted to, because I could, or because I was bored, or because I know how, because I know that wearing dark blue at night makes you look like a cloud. Ray Bradbury’s heart is not beating anymore. The Pillsbury building is so big compared to his heart, but this morning he is dead and there is only soy milk at my coffee shop.
Lewis Mundt
The doors burst open, startling me awake. I nearly jumped out of bed. Tove groaned next to me, since I did this weird mind-slap thing whenever I woke up scared, and it always hit him the worst. I'd forgotten about it because it had been a few months since the last time it happened. "Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes. "What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired as hell, and I was not happy. "I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newlyweds." "Oh, my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. "You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time." "A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenuous activities, like a long night of lovemaking, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you." "Yes, we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had poured for him. "What about you, Princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass. "I'm not hungry." I sighed and sat up. "Oh, really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-" "It means that last night is none of your business," I snapped. I got up and hobbled over to Elora's satin robe, which had been left on a nearby chair. My feet and ankles ached from all the dancing I'd done the night before. "Don't cover up on my account," Loki said as I put on the robe. "You don't have anything I haven't seen." "Oh, I have plenty you haven't seen," I said and pulled the robe around me. "You should get married more often," Loki teased. "It makes you feisty." I rolled my eyes and went over to the table. Loki had set it all up, complete with a flower in a vase in the center, and he'd pulled off the domed lids to reveal a plentiful breakfast. I took a seat across from Tove, only to realize that Loki had pulled up a third chair for himself. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Well, I went to all the trouble of having someone prepare it, so I might as well eat it." Loki sat down and handed me a flute filled with orange liquid. "I made mimosas." "Thanks," I said, and I exchanged a look with Tove to see if it was okay if Loki stayed. "He's a dick," Tove said over a mouthful of food, and shrugged. "But I don't care." In all honesty, I think we both preferred having Loki there. He was a buffer between the two of us so we didn't have to deal with any awkward morning-after conversations. And though I'd never admit it aloud, Loki made me laugh, and right now I needed a little levity in my life. "So, how did everyone sleep last night?" Loki asked. There was a quick knock at the bedroom doors, but they opened before I could answer. Finn strode inside, and my stomach dropped. He was the last person I'd expected to see. I didn't even think he would be here anymore. After the other night I assumed he'd left, especially when I didn't see him at the wedding. "Princess, I'm sorry-" Finn started to say as he hurried in, but then he saw Loki and stopped abruptly. "Finn?" I asked, stunned. Finn looked appalled and pointed at Loki. "What are you doing here?" "I'm drinking a mimosa." Loki leaned back in his chair. "What are you doing here?" "What is he doing here?" Finn asked, turning his attention to me. "Never mind him." I waved it off. "What's going on?" "See, Finn, you should've told me when I asked," Loki said between sips of his drink.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
His mom realized, of course, that her son was shouting out of fear and concern, so she replied the way she often did: “Boats that stay in the harbor are safe, sweetheart, but that’s not what boats were built for.” Jack said something he instantly regretted: “Do you think God’s going to protect you against knives just because you’re a priest?” She may have been sitting in a hospital on the other side of the world, but she could still feel his bottomless terror. So her whispers were half washed away by tears when she replied: “God doesn’t protect people from knives, sweetheart. That’s why God gave us other people, so we can protect each other.” It was impossible to argue with such a stubborn woman. Jack hated how much he admired her sometimes. Jim, in turn, loved her so much he could hardly breathe. But she didn’t travel so much after that, and never went so far away again. Then she got sick, and they lost her, and the world lost a bit more of its protection.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
When I was a kid,” he said, “my mother had lovebirds. She used to clip their wings so when she let them out of their cage, they wouldn’t fly away. The lovebirds always tried, but they never got far with their short, fucked-up wings.” I inched the bedroom door open and stepped into the pool of warm light spilling from the street outside. He moved behind me, tucking my hair behind my right ear aside, pressing his face to it. “Until one day, one managed to escape. My mother forgot to clip her wings. A moment of distraction cost her her favorite lovebird.” I knew why he was telling me this, and the happiness in my gut swirled with a shot of sudden pain. “Failure is inevitable,” he continued in a flat tone that didn’t hold much emotion or hope, “and heartache is unstoppable. One day, I’ll forget to clip your wings. When that day arrives, when you run away, I guess I’d be happy to know you’ll still have some money and the means to make it in this wild, tough world.
L.J. Shen (Sparrow)
Oh, it is true enough. I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb (an old country saying, not of much account, but it will do for a rough soldier), and so I will speak my mind, regardless of your pleasure, and without hoping or intending to get your pardon. Why, Miss Everdene, it is in this manner that your good looks may do more harm than good in the world." The sergeant looked down the mead in critical abstraction. "Probably some one man on an average falls in love with each ordinary woman. She can marry him: he is content, and leads a useful life. Such women as you a hundred men always covet—your eyes will bewitch scores on scores into an unavailing fancy for you—you can only marry one of that many. Out of these say twenty will endeavour to drown the bitterness of despised love in drink; twenty more will mope away their lives without a wish or attempt to make a mark in he world, because they have no ambition apart from their attachment to you; twenty more—the susceptible person myself possibly among them—will be always draggling after you, getting where they may just see you, doing desperate things. Men are such constant fools! The rest may try to get over their passion with more or less success. But all these men will be saddened. And not only those ninety-nine men, but the ninety-nine women they might have married are saddened with them. There's my tale. That's why I say that a woman so charming as yourself, Miss Everdene, is hardly a blessing to her race.
Thomas Hardy
You once said you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write (I can’t do much, anyway), but in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess; that utmost of selfrevelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind—for everyone wants to live as long as he is alive —even that degree of selfrevelation and surrender is not enough for writing. Writing that springs from the surface of existence— when there is no other way and the deeper wells have dried up—is nothing, and collapses the moment a truer emotion makes that surface shake. This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough. This is why there is never enough time at one’s disposal, for the roads are long and it is easy to go astray, there are even times when one becomes afraid and has the desire—even without any constraint or enticement—to run back (a desire always severely punished later on), how much more so if one were suddenly to receive a kiss from the most beloved lips! I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar’s outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up! Without effort! For extreme concentration knows no effort. The trouble is that I might not be able to keep it up for long, and at the first failure—which perhaps even in these circumstances could not be avoided—would be bound to end in a grandiose fit of madness.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
Tsz-lu said to the Master, "As the prince of Wei, sir, has been waiting for you to act for him in his government, what is it your intention to take in hand first?" "One thing of necessity," he answered "the rectification of terms." "That!" exclaimed Tsz-lu. "How far away you are, sir! Why such rectification?" "What a rustic you are, Tsz-lu!" rejoined the Master. "A gentleman would be a little reserved and reticent in matters which he does not understand. If terms be incorrect, language will be incongruous; and if language be incongruous, deeds will be imperfect. So, again, when deeds are imperfect, propriety and harmony cannot prevail, and when this is the case laws relating to crime will fail in their aim; and if these last so fail, the people will not know where to set hand or foot. Hence, a man of superior mind, certain first of his terms, is fitted to speak; and being certain of what he says can proceed upon it. In the language of such a person there is nothing heedlessly irregular and that is the sum of the matter.
Confucius (The Analects)
What do you mean? What do you demand of your captain? Are you then so easily turned from your design? Did you not call this a glorious expedition? And wherefore was it glorious? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terror; because at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth and your courage exhibited; because danger and death surrounded it, and these you were to brave and overcome. For this was it a glorious, for this was it an honourable undertaking. You were hereafter to be hailed as the benefactors of your species; your names adored as belonging to brave men who encountered death for honour and the benefit of mankind. And now, behold, with the first imagination of danger, or, if you will, the first mighty and terrific trial of your courage, you shrink away, and are content to be handed down as men who had not strength enough to endure cold and peril; and so, poor souls, they were chilly and returned to their warm firesides. Why that requires not this preparation; ye need not have come thus far, and dragged your captain to the shame of a defeat, merely to prove yourselves cowards. Oh! be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not. Do not return to your families with the stigma of disgrace marked on your brows. Return as heroes who have fought and conquered, and who know not what it is to turn their backs on the foe.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
We like to think of innovation as striking us in a stunning eureka moment, where you all at once change the way people see the world, leaping far ahead of our current understanding. I’m arguing that in reality, innovation is more systematic. We grind away to expand the cutting edge, opening up new problems in the adjacent possible to tackle and therefore expand the cutting edge some more, opening up more new problems, and so on. “The truth,” Johnson explains, “is that technological (and scientific) advances rarely break out of the adjacent possible.
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
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))
The one-eyed man stood helplessly by. "I'll help ya if ya want," he said. "Know what that son-of-a-bitch done? He come by an' he got on white pants. An' he says, 'Come on, le's go out to my yacht.' By God, I'll whang him some day!" He breathed heavily. "I ain't been out with a woman sence I los' my eye. An' he says stuff like that." And big tears cut channels in the dirt beside his nose. Tom said impatiently, "Whyn't you roll on? Got no guards to keep ya here." "Yeah, that's easy to say. Ain't so easy to get a job - not for a one-eye' man." Tom turned on him. "Now look-a-here, fella. You got that eye wide open. An' ya dirty, ya stink. Ya jus' askin' for it. Ya like it. Lets ya feel sorry for yaself. 'Course ya can't get no woman with that empty eye flappin' aroun'. Put somepin over it an' wash ya face. You ain't hittin' nobody with no pipe wrench." "I tell ya, a one-eye' fella got a hard row," the man said. "Can't see stuff the way other fellas can. Can't see how far off a thing is. Ever'thing's jus' flat." Tom said, "Ya full of crap. Why, I knowed a one-legged whore one time. Think she was takin' two-bits in a alley? No, by God! She's gettin' half a dollar extra. She says, 'How many one-legged women you slep' with? None!' she says. 'O.K.,' she says. 'You got somepin pretty special here, an it's gonna cos' ya half a buck extry.' An' by God, she was gettin' 'em, too, an' the fellas comin' out thinkin' they're pretty lucky. She says she's good luck. An' I knowed a hump-back in - in a place I was. Make his whole livin' lettin' folk rub his hump for luck. Jesus Christ, an' all you got is one eye gone." The man said stumblingly, "Well, Jesus, ya see somebody edge away from ya, an' it gets into ya." "Cover it up then, goddamn it. Ya stickin' it out like a cow's ass. Ya like to feel sorry for yaself. There ain't nothin' the matter with ya. Buy yaself some white pants. Ya gettin' drunk and cryin' in ya bed, I bet." ... The one-eyed man said softly, "Think - somebody'd like - me?" "Why, sure," said Tom. "Tell 'em ya dong's growed sence you los' your eye.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Sometimes your body aches and you feel like lead and it’s easier to pull your covers all the way over your head and pray that you never wake up but it’s very important that you do.  So if you don’t feel beautiful when you open your eyes  I hope this reminds you that I think you are.  Just try to remember this too  In the moments you feel alone and every mountain is too great for all the answers left unknown and convinced it is always too late.  There is happiness in this life one day these troubles will fade all your strength is in the skyline no matter how heavy your heart weighs. And some days it seems hope and despair take turns but despite all our sadness the sun always returns.  I just wanted you to know that I’ll never care. How far you push me away  Because when I told you that I would stay, I meant it. And a little damaged  But you’re not hopeless  I know who you are.  I love who you are  And that’s why I’ll stay. 
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts #1))
Here is the true secret of the Law of Attraction: You have a core vibrational frequency. It is purely uniquely you. It's a beacon. It's like a lighthouse. It shines. It radiates purely that signature frequency of your unique being. It never stops radiating that light, that frequency, that energy - never stops. Everything that is in alignment with that frequency is doing its utmost to come to you. Everything that is not aligned with that frequency is doing its utmost to get as far away from you as it possibly can. If the things that are aligned with that beacon aren't reaching you, it's not because "you're not vibrating at the resonance that you need to attract it". It's because your definitions and beliefs are holding it away. If the things that are trying to get away from you can't get away from you, it's not because they're not trying - it's because you're holding onto them. So the true Secret of the Law of Attraction is not "how to learn to attract what you prefer", it's how to learn to let go of what you don't, so that you can let in what is trying to get to you automatically - by definition. That's the true Secret and that's why it's effortless. It's just about letting go and letting in. It's not about having to learn to do something you're not already doing.
Bashar
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
I'm jittery.It's like the animatronic band from Chuck E. Cheese is throwing a jamboree in my stomach. I've always hated Chuck E. Cheese. Why am I thinking about Chuck E. Cheese? I don't know why I'm nervous.I'm just seeing my mom again. And Seany.And Bridge! Bridge said she'd come. St. Clair's connecting flight to San Francisco doesn't leave for another three hours,so we board the train that runs between terminals,and he walks me to the arrivals area.We've been quiet since we got off the plane. I guess we're tired. We reach the security checkpoint,and he can't go any farther. Stupid TSA regulations.I wish I could introduce him to my family.The Chuck E. Cheese band kicks it up a notch,which is weird, because I'm not nervous about leaving him. I'll see him again in two weeks. "All right,Banana.Suppose this is goodbye." He grips the straps of his backpack,and I do the same. This is the moment we're supposed to hug. For some reason,I can't do it. "Tell your mom hi for me. I mean, I know I don't know her. She just sounds really nice. And I hope she's okay." He smiles softly. "Thanks.I'll tell her." "Call me?" "Yeah,whatever. You'll be so busy with Bridge and what's-his-name that you'll forget all about your English mate, St. Clair." "Ha! So you are English!" I poke him in the stomach. He grabs my hand and we wrestle, laughing. "I claim....no...nationality." I break free. "Whatever,I totally caught you. Ow!" A gray-haired man in sunglasses bumps his red plaid suitcase into my legs. "Hey,you! Apologize!" St. Clair says,but the guy is already too far away to hear. I rub my shins. "It's okay, we're in the way. I should go." Time to hug again. Why can't we do it? Finally, I step forward and put my arms around him. He's stiff,and it's awkward, especially with our backpacks in the way.I smell his hair again. Oh heavens. We pull apart. "Have fun at the show tonight" he says. "I will.Have a good flight." "Thanks." He bites his thumbnail,and then I'm through security and riding down the escalator. I look back one last time. St. Clair jumps up and down, waving at me.I burst into laughter, and his face lights up.The escalator slides down. He's lost from view. I swallow hard and turn around.And then-there they are.Mom has a gigantic smile, and Seany is jumping and waving, just like St. Clair.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
When I was a young girl, I studied Greek in school. It's a beautiful language and ever so many good things were written in it. When you speak Greek, it feels like a little bird flapping its wings on your tongue as fast as it can. This is why I sometimes put Greek words into my stories, even though not so many people speak Ancient Greek anymore. Anything beautiful deserves to be shared round, and anything I love goes into my stories for safekeeping. The word I love is Arete. It has a simple meaning and a complicated meaning. The simple one is: excellence. But if that were all, we'd just use Excellence and I wouldn't bring it up until we got to E. Arete means your own excellence. Your very own. A personal excellence that belongs to no one else, one that comes out of all the things that make you special and different. Arete means whatever you are best at, no matter what that is. You might think the Greeks only meant things like fighting with bronze swords or debating philosophy, but they didn't. They meant whatever you're best at. What makes you feel like you're doing the rightest thing in the world. And that might be fighting with bronze swords and it might mean debating philosophy—but it also might mean building machines, or drawing pictures, or playing the guitar, or acting in Shakespeare plays, or writing books, or making a home for people who need one, or listening so hard and so well that people tell you the things they really need to say even if they didn't mean to, or running faster than anyone else, or teaching people patiently and boldly, or even making pillow forts or marching in parades or baking bread. It could be lending out just the right library book to just the right person at just the right moment. It could be standing up to the powerful even if you don't feel very powerful yourself, even if you're lost and as far away from home as you can get. It could be loving someone with the same care and thoroughness that a Wyvern takes with alphabetizing. It could be anything in the world. And it isn't easy to figure out what that is. It's even harder to get that good at it, because nothing, not even being yourself, comes without practice. But your arete goes with you everywhere, just waiting for you to pay attention to it. You can't lose it. You can only find it. And that's my favorite thing that starts with A.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
I HAD TO GO to America for a while to give some talks. Going to America always does me good. It’s where I’m from, after all. There’s baseball on the TV, people are friendly and upbeat, they don’t obsess about the weather except when there is weather worth obsessing about, you can have all the ice cubes you want. Above all, visiting America gives me perspective. Consider two small experiences I had upon arriving at a hotel in downtown Austin, Texas. When I checked in, the clerk needed to record my details, naturally enough, and asked for my home address. Our house doesn’t have a street number, just a name, and I have found in the past that that is more deviance than an American computer can sometimes cope with, so I gave our London address. The girl typed in the building number and street name, then said: “City?” I replied: “London.” “Can you spell that please?” I looked at her and saw that she wasn’t joking. “L-O-N-D-O-N,” I said. “Country?” “England.” “Can you spell that?” I spelled England. She typed for a moment and said: “The computer won’t accept England. Is that a real country?” I assured her it was. “Try Britain,” I suggested. I spelled that, too—twice (we got the wrong number of T’s the first time)—and the computer wouldn’t take that either. So I suggested Great Britain, United Kingdom, UK, and GB, but those were all rejected, too. I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest. “It’ll take France,” the girl said after a minute. “I beg your pardon?” “You can have ‘London, France.’ ” “Seriously?” She nodded. “Well, why not?” So she typed “London, France,” and the system was happy. I finished the check-in process and went with my bag and plastic room key to a bank of elevators a few paces away. When the elevator arrived, a young woman was in it already, which I thought a little strange because the elevator had come from one of the upper floors and now we were going back up there again. About five seconds into the ascent, she said to me in a suddenly alert tone: “Excuse me, was that the lobby back there?” “That big room with a check-in desk and revolving doors to the street? Why, yes, it was.” “Shoot,” she said and looked chagrined. Now I am not for a moment suggesting that these incidents typify Austin, Texas, or America generally or anything like that. But it did get me to thinking that our problems are more serious than I had supposed. When functioning adults can’t identify London, England, or a hotel lobby, I think it is time to be concerned. This is clearly a global problem and it’s spreading. I am not at all sure how we should tackle such a crisis, but on the basis of what we know so far, I would suggest, as a start, quarantining Texas.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
[From Sid Vicious's letter to Nancy Spungen's mother Deborah] P.S. Thank you, Debbie, for understanding that I have to die. Everyone else just thinks that I'm being weak. All I can say is that they never loved anyone as passionately as I love Nancy. I always felt unworthy to be loved by someone so beautiful as her. Everything we did was beautiful. At the climax of our lovemaking, I just used to break down and cry. It was so beautiful it was almost unbearable. It makes me mad when people say you must have really loved her.' So they think that I don't still love her? At least when I die, we will be together again. I feel like a lost child, so alone. The nights are the worst. I used to hold Nancy close to me all night so that she wouldn't have nightmares and I just can't sleep without my my beautiful baby in my arms. So warm and gentle and vulnerable. No one should expect me to live without her. She was a part of me. My heart. Debbie, please come and see me. You are the only person who knows what I am going through. If you don’t want to, could you please phone me again, and write. I love you. I was staggered by Sid's letter. The depth of his emotion, his sensitivity and intelligence were far greater than I could have imagined. Here he was, her accused murderer, and he was reaching out to me, professing his love for me. His anguish was my anguish. He was feeling my loss, my pain - so much so that he was evidently contemplating suicide. He felt that I would understand that. Why had he said that? I fought my sympathetic reaction to his letter. I could not respond to it, could not be drawn into his life. He had told the police he had murdered my daughter. Maybe he had loved her. Maybe she had loved him. I couldn't become involved with him. I was in too much pain. I couldn't share his pain. I hadn't enough strength. I began to stuff the letter back in its envelope when I came upon a separate sheet of paper. I unfolded it. It was the poem he'd written about Nancy. NANCY You were my little baby girl And I shared all your fears. Such joy to hold you in my arms And kiss away your tears. But now you’re gone there’s only pain And nothing I can do. And I don’t want to live this life If I can’t live for you. To my beautiful baby girl. Our love will never die. I felt my throat tighten. My eyes burned, and I began to weep on the inside. I was so confused. Here, in a few verses, were the last twenty years of my life. I could have written that poem. The feelings, the pain, were mine. But I hadn't written it. Sid Vicious had written it, the punk monster, the man who had told the police he was 'a dog, a dirty dog.' The man I feared. The man I should have hated, but somehow couldn't.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
Or… maybe I’m not going crazy. “Maybe I’m some sort of android-cyborg-clone-thing, and I’m just breaking down. I’m not sure which way is worse. Dad laughs. “You’re not in your right mind, dear,” he says. “No, no, no, you’re not.” And then— —Silence. Dad fades away. The reverie chair disappears. There’s just blackness. I remember then that I am in the reverie of something dead. Whatever that thing was, it was dead. And, just as I’m starting to wonder if, perhaps, I have died, too, I see a light, far away in the corner of the dreamscape. The light isn’t soft; it’s not glowing. It crackles like silent lightning, burning with electricity, sparks flying out and fizzling in the dark. I don’t know why—it makes no sense, the way dreams often don’t—but I want to touch the light. So I do.
Beth Revis (The Body Electric)
So where is it?” Harry asked suspiciously. “Unfortunately,” said Scrimgeour, “that sword was not Dumbledore’s to give away. The sword of Godric Gryffindor is an important historical artifact, and as such, belongs—” “It belongs to Harry!” said Hermione hotly. “It chose him, he was the one who found it, it came to him out of the Sorting Hat—” “According to reliable historical sources, the sword may present itself to any worthy Gryffindor,” said Scrimgeour. “That does not make it the exclusive property of Mr. Potter, whatever Dumbledore may have decided.” Scrimgeour scratched his badly shaven cheek, scrutinizing Harry. “Why do you think—?” “—Dumbledore wanted to give me the sword?” said Harry, struggling to keep his temper. “Maybe he thought it would look nice on my wall.” “This is not a joke, Potter!” growled Scrimgeour. “Was it because Dumbledore believed that only the sword of Godric Gryffindor could defeat the Heir of Slytherin? Did he wish to give you that sword, Potter, because he believed, as do many, that you are the one destined to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” “Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put some people onto that, instead of wasting their time stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azakaban. So is this what you’ve been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying—I was nearly one of them—Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad-Eye Moody, but there’s been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you?” “You go too far!” shouted Scrimgeour, standing up; Harry jumped to his feet too. Scrimgeour limped toward Harry and jabbed him hard in the chest with the point of his wand: It singed a hole in Harry’s T-shirt like a lit cigarette. “Oi!” said Ron, jumping up and raising his own wand, but Harry said, “No! D’you want to give him an excuse to arrest us?” “Remembered you’re not at school, have you?” said Scrimgeour, breathing hard into Harry’s face. “Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insubordination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It’s time you learned some respect!” “It’s time you earned it,” said Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Every action is a losing, a letting go, a passing away from oneself of some bit of one’s own reality into the existence of others and of the world. In Jesus Christ, this character of action is not resisted, by trying to use our action to assert ourselves, extend ourselves, to impose our will and being upon situations. In Jesus Christ, this self-expending character of action is joyfully affirmed. I receive myself constantly from God’s Parenting love. But so far as some aspects of myself are at my disposal, these I receive to give away. Those who would live as Jesus did—who would act and purpose themselves as Jesus did—mean to love, i.e., they mean to expend themselves for others unto death. Their being is meant to pass away from them to others, and they make that meaning the conscious direction of their existence. Too often the love which is proclaimed in the churches suppresses this element of loss and need and death in activity. As a Christian, I often speak of love as helping others, but I ignore what this does to the person who loves. I ignore the fact that love is self-expenditure, a real expending and losing and deterioration of the self. I speak of love as if the person loving had no problems, no needs, no limits. In other words, I speak of love as if the affluent dream were true. This kind of proclamation is heard everywhere. We hear it said: 'Since you have no unanswered needs, why don’t you go out and help those other people who are in need?' But we never hear people go on and add: 'If you do this, you too will be driven into need.' And by not stating this conclusion, people give the childish impression that Christian love is some kind of cornucopia, where we can reach to everybody’s needs and problems and still have everything we need for ourselves. Believe me, there are grown-up persons who speak this kind of nonsense. And when people try to live out this illusory love, they become terrified when the self-expending begins to take its toll. Terror of relationship is [that] we eat each other. But note this very carefully: like Jesus, we too can only live to give our received selves away freely because we know our being is not thereby ended, but still and always lies in the Parenting of our God.... Those who love in the name of Jesus Christ... serve the needs of others willingly, even to the point of being exposed in their own neediness.... They do not cope with their own needs. They do not anguish over how their own needs may be met by the twists and turns of their circumstances, by the whims of their society, or by the strategies of their own egos. At the center of their life—the very innermost center—they are grateful to God, because... they do not fear neediness. That is what frees them to serve the needy, to companion the needy, to become and be one of the needy.
Arthur C. McGill (Dying Unto Life)
If I stay Life is more than just a game. I've learnt that fun is not the same When faced with such a thorny choice, I close my eyes and hear a voice… It tells me what to do and say When to go and when to stay. When it's time to run away, But it won't tell me this. But still why me? I ask you why? Why must I choose to live or die? To this I can't turn a blind eye; I've done that far too much. So many reasons say 'don't go' I'd want to stay but I don't know When love itself is lost from earth Should I still walk on it's soft hearth? Is there yet a space for me? Is there still someone I might be? Can I stay here on my own? Can I face the world alone? Some say dying is just a step, That life is one and this the next, But can I watch life blow away? And what will happen If I stay?
Gayle Forman
Concerning sin and our proper attitude when we find ourselves in sin. Truly, to have committed a sin is not sinful if we regret what we have done. Indeed, not for anything in time or eternity should we want to commit a sin, neither of a mortal, venial or any other kind. Whoever knows the ways of God should always be mindful of the fact that God, who is faithful and loving, has led us from a sinful life into a godly one, thus making friends of us who were previously enemies, which is a greater achievement even than making a new earth. This is one of the chief reasons why we should be wholly established in God, and it is astonishing how much this inflames us with so great and so strong a love that we strip ourselves entirely of ourselves. Indeed, if you are rightly placed in the will of God, then you should not wish that the sin into which you fell had not happened. Of course, this is not the case because sin was something against God but, precisely because it was something against God, you were bound by it to greater love, you were humbled and brought low. And you should trust God that he would not have allowed it to happen unless he intended it to be for your profit. But when we raise ourselves out of sin and turn away from it, then God in his faithfulness acts as if we had never fallen into sin at all and he does not punish us for our sins for a single moment, even if they are as great as the sum of all the sins that have ever been committed. God will not make us suffer on their account, but he can enjoy with us all the intimacy that he ever had with a creature. If he finds that we are now ready, then he does not consider what we were before. God is a God of the present. He takes you and receives you as he finds you now, not as you have been, but as you are now. God willingly endures all the harm and shame which all our sins have ever inflicted upon him, as he has already done for many years, in order that we should come to a deep knowledge of his love and in order that our love and our gratitude should increase and our zeal grow more intense, which often happens when we have repented of our sins. Therefore God willingly tolerates the hurtfulness of sin and has often done so in the past, most frequently allowing it to come upon those whom he has chosen to raise up to greatness. Now listen! Was there ever anyone dearer to or more intimate with our Lord than the apostles? And yet not one of them escaped mortal sin. They all committed mortal sin. He showed this time and again in the Old and New Testament in those individuals who were to become the closest to him by far; and even today we rarely find that people achieve great things without first going astray. And thus our Lord intends to teach us of his great mercy, urging us to great and true humility and devotion. For, when repentance is renewed, then love too is renewed and grows strong.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
He peers closer, his hand dropping away. “What happened to your hair?” “I cut it.” “Why on earth would . . . Oh.” “I’d appreciate it if you kept my secret.” He frowns. “I don’t see how anyone with half a mind would mistake you for a boy.” “It’s worked so far. I’m strong and I work hard and I ride well.” “Also, you can spit farther than any boy I know.” “And shoot straighter!” He nods solemnly. “And opine louder.
Rae Carson (Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1))
Get away from the door." she whispered. "Both of you get out of here NOW." "Miss," said Alf. "We don't mean no..." "You don't know what you're getting into." she said. "You must leave here this instant." Alf, his face worried said to Peter. "Maybe we should..." "No," sad Peter, furious. "We've come this far, and we're going to go in there, and she can't stop us." "Yes I can." said Molly, her voice dead calm. Peter and Alf both looked at her. "I can scream." she said. "You wouldn't." Peter said. "Yes I would." "You don't dare." said Peter. "You're not supposed to be here, either. You'd be in as much trouble as us." "I could say I heard a noise," she said. "I heard something fall." she pointed to the padlcok. "I came to investigate, and when I saw you I screamed." "All right miss. said Alf. "No need for that." he put a hand on Peter's shoulder. "Come on lad." "No," said Peter, shrugging off the hand, glaring at Molly. "You go if you want. She doesn't scare me." "I'm going to count," said Molly. "If you're not gone when I get to ten, I WILL scream." "You're bluffing." said Peter." said Peter. "One." said Molly. On the floor Leatherface stirred, rolling over, resumed snoring. "Little friend." whispered Alf, his tone urgent now. "I'm going." "Go then." said Peter. "Two." "Please little friend." "NO." "Three" "All right, then." said Alf, shaking his head. "Good luck, then." "Four" Alf was up the ladder and gone. "Five" "Why are you doing this?" hissed Peter. "Six. Because I have to." Her face was grim. "But why?" "Seven. I can't tell you." "Tell me WHAT? Why can't you tell me anyway? How do you know if you don't try?" "Nine. Because I... Because it... it's so..." Molly's voice broke. Peter saw she was crying. "Molly, please, whatever it is, JUST TELL ME.. Maybe...maybe I can help you." For several seconds, Molly looked at him, a look of lonely desperation, tears brimming in her luminescent green eyes. Then she made a decision- Peter saw it happen- and her expression was grim again. She's going to say ten, thought Peter. She's going to scream. Molly opened her mouth. "All right, then." she said. "I'll tell you.
Dave Barry
December 8, 1986 Hello John: Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place. You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.” And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?” They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds. Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: “I put in 35 years…” “It ain’t right…” “I don’t know what to do…” They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system. I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!” One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life. So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself. Your boy, Hank
Charles Bukowski
Your wife,” said Arthur, looking around, “mentioned some toothpicks.” He said it with a hunted look, as if he was worried that she might suddenly leap out from behind a door and mention them again. Wonko the Sane laughed. It was a light easy laugh, and sounded like one he had used a lot before and was happy with. “Ah yes,” he said, “that’s to do with the day I finally realized that the world had gone totally mad and built the Asylum to put it in, poor thing, and hoped it would get better.” This was the point at which Arthur began to feel a little nervous again. “Here,” said Wonko the Sane, “we are outside the Asylum.” He pointed again at the rough brickwork, the pointing, and the gutters. “Go through that door” — he pointed at the first door through which they had originally entered — “and you go into the Asylum. I’ve tried to decorate it nicely to keep the inmates happy, but there’s very little one can do. I never go in there myself. If I ever am tempted, which these days I rarely am, I simply look at the sign written over the door and I shy away.” “That one?” said Fenchurch, pointing, rather puzzled, at a blue plaque with some instructions written on it. “Yes. They are the words that finally turned me into the hermit I have now become. It was quite sudden. I saw them, and I knew what I had to do.” The sign read: “Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.” “It seemed to me,” said Wonko the Sane, “that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.” He gazed out at the Pacific again, as if daring it to rave and gibber at him, but it lay there calmly and played with the sandpipers. “And in case it crossed your mind to wonder, as I can see how it possibly might, I am completely sane. Which is why I call myself Wonko the Sane, just to reassure people on this point. Wonko is what my mother called me when I was a kid and clumsy and knocked things over, and sane is what I am, and how,” he added, with one of his smiles that made you feel, Oh. Well that’s all right then. “I intend to remain.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
At first all was well. In fact, all was terrific. The Takers were pedaling away and the wings of their craft were flapping beautifully. They felt wonderful, exhilarated. They were experiencing the freedom of the air: freedom from restraints that bind and limit the rest of the biological community. And with that freedom came marvels—all the things you mentioned the other day: urbanization, technology, literacy, mathematics, science. “Their flight could never end, it could only go on becoming more and more exciting. They couldn’t know, couldn’t even have guessed that, like our hapless airman, they were in the air but not in flight. They were in free fall, because their craft was simply not in compliance with the law that makes flight possible. But their disillusionment is far away in the future, and so they’re pedaling away and having a wonderful time. Like our airman, they see strange sights in the course of their fall. They see the remains of craft very like their own—not destroyed, merely abandoned—by the Maya, by the Hohokam, by the Anasazi, by the peoples of the Hopewell cult, to mention only a few of those found here in the New World. ‘Why,’ they wonder, ‘are these craft on the ground instead of in the air? Why would any people prefer to be earthbound when they could have the freedom of the air, as we do?’ It’s beyond comprehension, an unfathomable mystery.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit)
Maybe a man in a million could unite the Hallows, Harry. I was fit only to possess the meanest of them, the least extraordinary. I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not to boast of it, and not to kill with it. I was permitted to tame and to use it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it.” “But the cloak, I took out of vain curiosity, and so it could never have worked for me as it works for you, its true owner. The stone I would have used in an attempt to drag back those who are at peace, rather than to enable my self-sacrifice, as you did. You are the worthy possessor of the Hallows.” Dumbledore patted Harry’s hand, and Harry looked up at the old man and smiled; he could not help himself. How could he remain angry with Dumbledore now? “Why did you have to make it so difficult?” Dumbledore’s smile was tremulous. “I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart. I was scared that, if presented outright with the facts about those tempting objects, you might seize the Hallows as I did, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. If you laid hands on them, I wanted you to possess them safely. You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
As the bartender struck a match to light her cigarette, she put her hand on his wrist to steady it. Travis saw him jump, draw back. He held his wrist, blew on it, looked at her reproachfully. Travis said: 'Why, you scratched him, Sarah.' 'Did I?' And as she turned and looked at him, he saw her hand twitch a little, and drew still further away from her. 'What - what's got into you?' he faltered. There was some kind of tension spreading all around the horseshoe-shaped bar, emanating from her. All the cordiality, the sociability, was leaving it. Cheery conversations even at the far ends of it faltered and died, and the speakers looked around them as though wondering what was putting them so on edge. A heavy leaden pall of restless silence descended, as when a cloud goes over the sun. One or two people even turned and moved away reluctantly, as though they hadn't intended to but didn't like it at the bar any more. The gaunt-faced woman in red and black was the center of all eyes, but the looks sent her were not the admiring looks of men for a well-dressed woman; they were the blinking petrified looks a blacksnake would get in a poultry yard. Even the barman felt it. He dropped and smashed a glass, a thing he hadn't done since he'd been working on the ship. Even the canary felt it, and stood shivering pitifully on its perch, emitting an occasional cheep as though for help. ("I'm Dangerous Tonight")
Cornell Woolrich (The Fantastic Stories of Cornell Woolrich (Alternatives SF Series))
Can you drive it?" "No. I can't drive a stick at all. It's why I took Andy's car and not one of yours." "Oh people, for goodness' sake...move over." Choo Co La Tah pushed past Jess to take the driver's seat. Curious about that, she slid over to make room for the ancient. Jess hesitated. "Do you know what you're doing?" Choo Co La Tah gave him a withering glare. "Not at all. But I figured smoeone needed to learn and no on else was volunteering. Step in and get situated. Time is of the essence." Abigail's heart pounded. "I hope he's joking about that." If not, it would be a very short trip. Ren changed into his crow form before he took flight. Jess and Sasha climbed in, then moved to the compartment behind the seat. A pall hung over all of them while Choo Co La Tah adjusted the seat and mirrors. By all means, please take your time. Not like they were all about to die or anything... She couldn't speak as she watched their enemies rapidly closing the distance between them. This was by far the scariest thing she'd seen. Unlike the wasps and scorpions, this horde could think and adapt. They even had opposable thumbs. Whole different ball game. Choo Co La Tah shifted into gear. Or at least he tried. The truck made a fierce grinding sound that caused jess to screw his face up as it lurched violently and shook like a dog coming in from the rain. "You sure you odn't want me to try?" Jess offered. Choo Co La Tah waved him away. "I'm a little rusty. Just give me a second to get used to it again." Abigail swallowed hard. "How long has it been?" Choo Co La Tah eashed off the clutch and they shuddred forward at the most impressive speed of two whole miles an hour. About the same speed as a limping turtle. "Hmm, probably sometime around nineteen hundred and..." They all waited with bated breath while he ground his way through more gears. With every shift, the engine audibly protested his skills. Silently, so did she. The truck was really moving along now. They reached a staggering fifteen miles an hour. At this rate, they might be able to overtake a loaded school bus... by tomorrow. Or at the very least, the day after that. "...must have been the summer of...hmm...let me think a moment. Fifty-three. Yes, that was it. 1953. The year they came out with color teles. It was a good year as I recall. Same year Bill Gates was born." The look on Jess's and Sasha's faces would have made her laugh if she wasn't every bit as horrified. Oh my God, who put him behind the wheel? Sasha visibly cringed as he saw how close their pursuers were to their bumper. "Should I get out and push?" Jess cursed under his breath as he saw them, too. "I'd get out and run at this point. I think you'd go faster." Choo Co La Tah took their comments in stride. "Now, now, gentlemen. All is well. See, I'm getting better." He finally made a gear without the truck spazzing or the gears grinding.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
That’s why travel is so important, among other reasons: to get far enough away from our everyday lives to see those lives with new clarity. When you’re literally on the other side of the world, when you’re under the silent sea, watching a bright, silent world of fish and coral, when you’re staring up at a sky so bright and dense with stars it makes you gasp, it’s in those moments that you begin to see the fullness of your life, the possibility that still prevails, that always prevails.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
Is it true it takes thirteen months for a female to carry and give birth?” “Minimum.” He said it with such casual dismissal that Bella laughed. “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to lug the kid around inside of you all that time. You, just like your human counterparts, have the fun part over with like that.” She snapped her fingers in front of his face. His dark eyes narrowed and he reached to enclose her hand in his, pulling her wrist up to the slow, purposeful brush of his lips even as he maintained a sensual eye contact that was far too full of promises. Isabella caught her breath as an insidious sensation of heated pins and needles stitched its way up her arm. “I promise you, Bella, a male Demon’s part in a mating is never over like this.” He mimicked her snap, making her jump in time to her kick-starting heartbeat. “Well”—she cleared her throat—“I guess I’ll have to take your word on that.” Jacob did not respond in agreement, and that unnerved her even further. Instinctively, she changed tack. “So, what brings you down into the dusty atmosphere of the great Demon library?” she asked, knowing she sounded like a brightly animated cartoon. “You.” Oh, how that singular word was pregnant with meaning, intent, and devastatingly blatant honesty. Isabella was forced to remind herself of the whole Demon-human mating taboo as the forbidden response of heat continued to writhe around beneath her skin, growing exponentially in intensity every moment he hovered close. She tried to picture all kinds of scary things that could happen if she did not quit egging him on like she was. How she was, she didn’t know, but she was always certain she was egging him on. “Why did you want to see me?” she asked, breaking away from him and bending to retrieve the book she had dropped. It was huge and heavy and she grunted softly under the weight of it. It landed with a slam and another puff of dust on the table she had made into her own private study station. “Because I cannot seem to help myself, lovely little Bella.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
Friend John, forgive me if I pain. I showed not my feeling to others when it would wound, but only to you, my old friend, whom I can trust. If you could have looked into my very heart that when I want to laugh; if you could have done so when the laugh arrived; if you could do so now, when King Laugh have pack up his crown and all that is to him - for he go far, far away from me, and for a long, long time - maybe you would perhaps pity me the most of all.' I was touched by the tenderness of his tone, and asked why. 'Because I know!
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
„Hey, you were braver than me. And look, you did it all without losing that towel.” Amusement lit Sydney’s features as she let me draw her near. She patted the top of the towel, where it wrapped around her chest. “It’s all in how you fold it,” she said practically. “Do it the right way, and nothing will get it off.” “Challenge accepted,” I murmured, bringing my lips down to hers. … I lifted her easily in my arms and carried her over to the bed, amazed at how the strongest woman I knew could feel so light in my arms. I was also amazed at how difficult that towel was to get off. Sydney laughed softly, trailing her fingers along my cheeks. The sunlight peeping in around the window blinds made her look like she was made of gold. “Uh-oh,” she said. “Are you going to fail in your challenge?” I finally untwisted the fold and removed the towel, tossing it as far from the bed as I could. “No way,” I said, as always in awe of her body. “It takes a lot more than that to keep me away. You’ll have to try harder next time.” She helped pull my shirt off over my head. “Now why would I want to do that?
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
You’ve been shot,” she tells Rachel. “You shot me, you crazy bit—“ “We don’t have time for the ER protocol crap, Mom,” I cut in. “She knows she’s been shot. She’s alert. Help. Her.” Mom nods. She looks at Rachel’s clenched fist where it’s balled against her lower stomach. “I’m sorry I shot you. I need to look at that. Please.” Rachel gives her The Stank Eye. Rachel is very good at The Stank Eye. “I’m a nurse, remember?” Mom says, her voice dripping with impatience. “I can help you.” Rachel inhales and eases her hand away from her stomach, but I can’t bring myself to look at it so I just watch Mom’s face to maybe gauge how bad the wound is. I imagine dark blood and entrails and… “What the…?” Mom gasps. As an ER nurse, Mom’s seen a lot of things. But by her expression, she’s never seen this. I’m thinking it must be way serious. Also, I’m thinking I might throw up. Until Rachel slaps a handcuff around Mom’s wrist. “I’m sorry, Nalia. I hope you understand.” Then she clinks the other end of the cuff around her own wrist. I steal a glance at Rachel’s very clean, very intact, very non-bloody-entrails T-shirt. Rachel is a smart woman. Mom lunges for her, hands aiming for her throat. Rachel pulls some karate-chop-move thing and slams Mom against the door behind her. “Knock it off, hon. I don’t want to really hurt you.” “You…you told Galen you’d been shot,” I stammer. “I heard you tell him that. Why would you lie to him?” Rachel shrugs. “I was shot.” She glances down at her feet. There’s a good-sized hole near the big toe of her boot, and bit of red staining the edges of it. “And I’d better be able to wear high heels after this, or one of you is going to swim with the fishes.” Then she laughs at her own stupid Mob joke. Mom plops down beside Rachel and leans against the car, too, in obvious surrender. She looks up at me. It’s a look brimming with “I told you so.” And I already know what she’s going to say next. We won’t make it very far before someone notices two women handcuffed together. Bathroom breaks will be impossible. Any public place will be impossible. I’m guessing Mom didn’t anticipate needing a hacksaw on this vacation of ours. But I know what she expects from me now. And that’s just too freaking bad.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
How has my industry raised prices at this rate without improving the product? At a few elite institutions, including NYU, we’ve leveraged scarcity. More than a business strategy, it’s become a fetish—believing you are a luxury brand instead of a public servant. Ivy Leagues have acceptance rates of 4–10%. A university president bragging about rejecting 90% of applicants is tantamount to a homeless shelter taking pride in turning away 90% of the needy that arrive each night. And this is not about standards or brand dilution. In an essay explaining his decision to stop conducting application interviews for his alma mater, Princeton, journalist Bryan Walsh observed, “The secret of elite college admissions is that far more students deserve to attend these colleges than are admitted, and there is virtually no discernible difference between those who make it and the many more who just miss out.” In support, he offered this statement from Princeton’s own dean of admissions: “We could have admitted five or six classes to Princeton from the [applicant] pool.”4 So, with a $26 billion endowment, the question becomes, Why wouldn’t you?
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
Gregori tugged on her hair to force her back to him. "You make me feel alive, Savannah." "Do I? Is that why you're swearing?" She turned onto her stomach, propping herself up onto her elbows. He leaned into her, brushing his mouth across the swell of her breast. "You are managing to tie me up in knots. You take away all my good judgement." A slight smile curved her mouth. "I never noticed that you had particularly good judgement to begin with." His white teeth gleamed, a predator's smile, then sank into soft bare flesh. She yelped but moved closer to him when his tongue swirled and caressed, taking away the sting. "I have always had good judgement," he told her firmly, his teeth scraping back and forth in the valley between her breasts. "So you say.But that doesn't make it so. You let evil idiots shoot you with poisoned darts. You go by yourself into laboratories filled with your enemies. Need I go on?" Her blue eyes were laughing at him. Her firm, rounded bottom was far too tempting to resist. He brought his open palm down in mock punishment. Savannah jumped, but before she could scoot away, his palm began caressing, producing a far different effect. "Judging from our positions, ma petite, I would say my judgement looks better than yours." She laughed. "All right,I'm going to let you win this time." "Would you care for a shower?" he asked solicitously. When she nodded, Gregori flowed off the bed, lifted her high into his arms,and cradled her against his chest. There was something too innocent about him. She eyed him warily. But in an instant he had already glided across the tiled floor to the balcony door, which flew open at his whim, and carried her, naked, into the cold, glittering downpour. Savannah tried to squirm away, wiggling and shoving at his chest, laughing in spite of the icy water cascading over her. "Gregori! You're so mean. I can't believe you did this." "Well,I have poor judgement." He was grinning at her in mocking, male amusement. "Is that not what you said?" "I take it back!" she moaned, clinging to him, burying her fact on his shoulder as the chill rain pelted her bare breasts, making her nipples peak hard and fast. "Run with me tonight," Gregori whispered against her neck. An enticement. Temptation. Drawing her to him, another tie to his dark world. She lifted her head, looked into his silver eyes, and was lost.The rain poured over her, drenching her, but as Gregori slowly glided with her to the blanket of pine needles below the balcony,she couldn't look away from those hungry eyes.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
To learn that his treasures had been lost months ago, and so far away, was no different from learning of the death, similarly distant in time and geography, of a beloved person. Such a death bears a peculiar imprint of doubt. To be told one day that someone has gone off to the other side of the world, and with whom you expect momentarily to be reunited, has actually been dead for many months, during which you have been going on with your life, unaware of this subtraction that has taken place, makes a mockery of the finality of death. Death is reduced to news. And news is always a little unreal—which is why we bear to take in so much of it.
Susan Sontag (The Volcano Lover)
And it seemed to me that even if you weren’t actively letting your emotions ride its surface, the ocean still went on giving you something, teaching you some sort of lesson. Perhaps that was why I had never actually considered its existence before—never really thought about the thundering of the waves as they sweep in endlessly toward the shore. But since I was thinking about it, what on earth did people in the city turn to when they felt the need to reckon with “balance"? Maybe the moon? That seemed like the obvious choice. But then the moon was so small and far away, and something about it felt sort of lonely, and it didn’t seem like it would really help . . .
Banana Yoshimoto (Goodbye Tsugumi)
Why, Jon, why?” his mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Son, you’re bone and feathers!” “I don’t mind being bone and feathers, mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.” “See here, Jonathan,” said his father, not unkindly. “Winter isn’t far away. Boats will be few, and the surface fish will be swimming deep. If you must study, then study food, and how to get it. This flying business is all very well, but you can’t eat a glide, you know. Don’t you forget that the reason you fly is to eat.” Jonathan
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story)
Kestrel though that Arin was someone who had fallen far. She couldn’t ask if that was true. She remembered his angry response when she had asked why he had been trained as a blacksmith, and that question had seemed innocent enough. Yet it had hurt him. She did not want to hurt him. “How did you learn to play Bite and Sting?” she asked. “It’s Valorian.” He looked relieved. “There was a time when Herrani enjoyed sailing to your country. We liked your people. And we have always admired the arts. Our sailors brought back Bite and Sting sets a long time ago.” “Bite and Sting is a game, not an art.” He folded his arms across his chest, amused. “If you say so.” “I’m surprised to hear that Herrani liked anything about Valorians. I thought you considered us stupid savages.” “Wild creatures,” he muttered. Kestrel was sure she had misheard him. “What?” “Nothing. Yes, you were completely uncultured. You ate with your hands. Your idea of entertainment was seeing who could kill the other first. But”--his eyes met hers, then glanced away--“you were known for other things, too.” “What things? What do you mean?” He shook his head. He made that strange gesture again, lifting his fingers to flick the air by his temple. Then he folded his hands, unfolded them, and began to mix the tiles. “You have asked too many questions. If you want more, you will have to win them.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Before he could say my name, I closed the space between us. Quickly, my lips moved against his. The mental and emotional emptiness took over instantly, but physically, I was more alert than ever. Wesley’s surprise didn’t last as long as it had before, and his hands were on me in seconds. My fingers tangled in his soft hair, and Wesley’s tongue darted into my mouth and became a new weapon in our war. Once again, my body took complete control of everything. Nothing existed at the corners of my mind; no irritating thoughts harassed me. Even the sounds of Wesley’s stereo, which had been playing some piano rock I didn’t recognize, faded away as my sense of touch heightened. I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. “Please don’t slap me again,” he said. “Shut up.” I could have stopped there. I could have stood up and left the room. I could have let that kiss be the end of it. But I didn’t. The mind-numbing sensation I got from kissing him was so euphoric-such a high-that I couldn’t stand to give it up that fast. I might have hated Wesley Rush, but he held the key to my escape, and at that moment I wanted him… I needed him. Without speaking, without hesitating, I pulled my T-shirt over my head and threw it onto Wesley’s bedroom floor. He didn’t have a chance to say anything before I put my hands on his shoulders and shoved him onto his back. A second later, I was straddling him and we were kissing again. His fingers undid the clasp on my bra, and it joined my shirt on the floor. I didn’t care. I didn’t feel self-conscious or shy. I mean, he already knew I was the Duff, and it wasn’t like I had to impress him. I unbuttoned his shirt as he pulled the alligator clip from my hair and let the auburn waves fall around us. Casey had been right. Wesley had a great body. The skin pulled tight over his sculpted chest, and my hands drifted down his muscular arms with amazement. His lips moved to my neck, giving me a moment to breathe. I could only smell his cologne this close to him. As his mouth traveled down my shoulder, a thought pushed through the exhilaration. I wondered why he hadn’t shoved me-Duffy-away in disgust. Then again, I realized, Wesley wasn’t known for rejecting girls. And I was the one who should have been disgusted. But his mouth pressed into mine again, and that tiny, fleeting thought died. Acting on instinct, I pulled on Wesley’s lower lip with my teeth, and he moaned quietly. His hands moved over my ribs, sending chills up my spine. Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. Only once, as Wesley flipped me onto my back, did I seriously consider stopping. He looked down at me, and his skilled hand grasped the zipper on my jeans. My dormant brain stirred, and I asked myself if things had gone too far. I thought about pushing him away, ending it right where we were. But why would I stop now? What did I stand to lose? Yet what could I possibly gain? How would I feel about this in an hour… or sooner? Before I could come up with any answers, Wesley had my jeans and underwear off. He pulled a condom from his pocket (okay, now that I’m thinking about it, who keeps condoms in their pockets? Wallet, yes, but pocket? Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?), and then his pants were on the floor, too. All of a sudden, we were having sex, and my thoughts were muted again.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
So here we find that the animals, and the plants, the vegetation, became living souls, and were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth. These are very significant expressions, and I am stressing them as evidence that contradicts and confutes the organic theory of evolution. . . . Evolution teaches production and development of all things by chance, development of the smallest germ to a man created in the image of God, requiring several billions of years for that development. Moreover, this process would, if true, produce on other earths, passing through similar conditions, beings of a most hideous and dreadful nature imaginable. As they teach it has produced some very hideous beings on this earth. There could be no intelligence in a Supreme Being who had each time an earth is formed to leave everything to chance hoping that in some great period of time from an amoeba, creatures would be developed, fit to possess an eternal spirit in his image. I want you to get that! The idea, for us, sons and daughters of God, to be led astray by these theories of men into thinking that things began way back in that far distant time by some chance, suddenly appearing. Why, conditions today are far more favorable to spontaneous life than they were according to the teachings of science, millions of years ago, and have not men struggled and done everything that they knew how to do to find spontaneous life, and in searching for it they have always been defeated. So I state, and have the evidence in this book. They have never found life coming only from antecedent life. God is the author of life, and that is one secret he has not revealed to man. . . . We are transplanted beings. Adam was transplanted. I do not want to get a misunderstanding when I say that. He did not come here a resurrected being. He did not die on some other earth and then come here to die again, to be changed to mortality again, for the resurrected being cannot die. . . . So, Adam was the first man upon the earth, according to the Lord's statement, and the first flesh also. That needs a little explanation. Adam did not come to this earth until it was prepared for him. The animals were here. Plants were here. The Lord did not bring him to a desolate world, and then bring other creatures. It was all prepared for him, just according to the order that is written in our scriptures, and when it was all ready for Adam he was placed upon the earth. Then what is meant by the "first flesh"? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it, and the scriptures tell you that. It is here written, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Here the Lord says to Adam that through the fall came death, and other statements of that kind are given in these scriptures. . . . Now, evolution leads men away from God. Men who have had faith in God, when they have become converted to that theory, forsake him. Charles Darwin was a religious man when he started out. I have told in this book something about what happened to him, and how his feelings changed, and what was beautiful to him in the beginning ceased to be beautiful to him thereafter. [Seek Ye Earnestly, 277-283]
Joseph Fielding Smith (Seek Ye Earnestly .)
Acornology Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a kingdom of acorns, nestled at the foot of a grand old oak tree. Since the citizens of this kingdom were modern, fully Westernized acorns, they went about their life with a purposeful energy; and since they were mid-life baby-boomer acorns, they engaged in a lot of self-help courses. There were seminars called “Getting All You Can out of Your Shell” and “Who Would You Be Without Your Nutty Story?” There were woundedness and recovery groups for acorns who had been bruised in their fall from the tree. There were spas for oiling and polishing those shells and various acornopathic therapies to enhance longevity and well-being. One day in the midst of this kingdom there suddenly appeared a knotty little stranger, apparently dropped out of the blue by a passing bird. He was capless and dirty, making an immediate negative impression on his fellow acorns. And to make things worse, crouched beneath the mighty oak tree, he stammered out a wild tale. Pointing up at the tree, he said, “We … are … that!” Delusional thinking, obviously, the other acorns concluded, but they continued to engage him in conversation: “So tell us, how do we … become that tree?” “Well,” said he, pointing downward, “it has something to do with going into the ground … and cracking open the shell.” “Insane!” they responded. “Totally morbid! Why then we wouldn’t be acorns anymore.
Jacob Needleman (Lost Christiantiy)
What are you so afraid of?” “Nothing!” He yelled so fiercely that a pair of oxen grazing in a nearby field snorted and moved farther away from us. It was the first time I ever saw fire in Milo’s eyes. “I’m no coward. That’s not why I wouldn’t go with your brothers. I have to go with you.” “Who said so? You’re free now, Milo. Don’t you know what that means? You can come and go anywhere you like. You ought to appreciate it.” “I appreciate you, Lady Helen!” Once Milo raised his voice, he couldn’t stop. He shouted so loudly that the two oxen trotted to the far side of the pasture as fast as they could move their massive bodies. “You’re the one who gave me my freedom. If I love to be fifty, I’ll never be able to repay you!
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
He gestured at me. “Do you like the blanket?” I nodded. “It’s warm.” “I made it. Well, actually, I didn’t skin the animal, but I did kill it….after the others pinned it down. It’s werewolf skin.” My heart faltered; I gripped at a wad of black fur. “I slayed the beast for you, Catherine. I used your sword. It was your grandmother’s idea actually, a wedding present. You mentioned how chilly you get.” “You didn’t slay a werewolf,” I breathed before repeating the words louder. “You did not slay a werewolf, Thaddeus.” “Oh, but I did. I took a band of huntsman with me and we tracked one down. A smaller one, mind you, not far from the front gate…” “You did not!” I contended more strongly. Why would one wolf have separated from the pack? Why outside our walls? “Yes, Catherine, I did,” he insisted. I shook my head disbelieving. “You’re not capable—” “I am so.” I wanted to cry. I wanted to protest, but to do so meant giving away my knowledge of the truth. Without knowing what else to do or say I changed the subject. “The fire’s gone out.” Thaddeus turned his head to check. “You’re right. I’ll see to it.” He fed the barrel stove until a healthy blaze was roaring. Finding me no longer a decent conversationalist, Thaddeus left with a promise to return soon with food and water. Unobserved, I gathered up the fur hide of a lost soul and curled into a ball, hugging it close to my chest. I cried silent tears and mourned for this unknown werewolf for days.
Richelle E. Goodrich (The Tarishe Curse)
Katie stood alone... 'They think this is so good,' he thought. 'They think it's good- the tree they got for nothing and their father playing up to them and the singing and the way the neighbors are happy. They think they're mighty lucky that they're living and it's Christmas again. They can't see that we live on a dirty street in a dirty house among people who aren't much good. Johnny and the children can't see how pitiful it is that our neighbors have to make happiness out of this filth and dirt. My children must get out of this. They must come to more than Johnnny or me or all thse people around us. But how is this to come about? Reading a page from those books every day and saving pennies in the tin-can bank isn't enough. Money! Would that make it better for them? Yes, it would make it easy. But no, the money wouldn't be enough. McGarrity owns the saloon standing on the corner and he has a lot of money. His wife wears diamond earrings. But her children are not as good and smart as my children. They are mean and greedy towards others...Ah no, it isn't the money alone... That means there must be something bigger than money. Miss Jackson teaches... and she has no money. She works for charity. She lives in a little room there on the top floor. She only has the one dress but she keeps it clean and pressed. Her eyes look straight into yours when you talk to her... She understands about things. She can live in the middle of a dirty neighborhood and be fine and clean like an actress in a play; someone you can look at but is too fine to touch... So what is this difference between her and this Miss Jackson who has no money?... Education! That was it!...Education would pull them out of the grime and dirt. Proof? Miss Jackson was educated, the McGarrity wasn't. Ah! That's what Mary Rommely, her mother, had been telling her all those years. Only her mother did not have the one clear word: education!... 'Francie is smart...She's a learner and she'll be somebody someday. But when she gets educated, she will grow away from me. Why, she's growing away from me now. She does not love me the way the boy loves me. I feel her turn away from me now. She does not understand me. All she understands is that I don't understand her. Maybe when she gets education, she will be ashamed of me- the way I talk. but she will have too much character to show it. Instead she will try to make me different. She will come to see me and try to make me live in a better way and I will be mean to her because I'll know she's above me. She will figure out too much about things as she grows older; she'll get to know too much for her own happiness. She'll find out that I don't love her as much as I love the boy. I cannot help that this is so. But she won't understand that. Somethimes I think she knows that now. Already she is growing away from me; she will fight to get away soon. Changing over to that far-away school was the first step in her getting away from me. But Neeley will never leave me, that is why I love him best. He will cling to me and understand me... There is music in him. He got that from his father. He has gone further on the piano than Francie or me. Yes, his father has the music in him but it does him no good. It is ruining him... With the boy, it will be different. He'll be educated. I must think out ways. We'll not have Johnnny with us long. Dear God, I loved him so much once- and sometimes I still do. But he's worthless...worthless. And God forgive me for ever finding out.' Thus Katie figured out everything in the moments it took them to climb the stairs. People looking up at her- at her smooth pretty vivacious face- had no way of knowing about the painfully articulated resolves formulating hin her mind.
Betty Smith
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)
I believe that to execute a man for murder is to punish him immeasurably more dreadfully than is equivalent to his crime. A murder by sentence is far more dreadful than a murder committed by a criminal. The man who is attacked by robbers at night, in a dark wood, or anywhere, undoubtedly hopes and hopes that he may yet escape until the very moment of his death. There are plenty of instances of a man running away, or imploring for mercy—at all events hoping on in some degree—even after his throat was cut. But in the case of an execution, that last hope—having which it is so immeasurably less dreadful to die,—is taken away from the wretch and certainty substituted in its place! There is his sentence, and with it that terrible certainty that he cannot possibly escape death—which, I consider, must be the most dreadful anguish in the world. You may place a soldier before a cannon’s mouth in battle, and fire upon him—and he will still hope. But read to that same soldier his death-sentence, and he will either go mad or burst into tears. Who dares to say that any man can suffer this without going mad? No, no! it is an abuse, a shame, it is unnecessary—why should such a thing exist? Doubtless there may be men who have been sentenced, who have suffered this mental anguish for a while and then have been reprieved; perhaps such men may have been able to relate their feelings afterwards. Our Lord Christ spoke of this anguish and dread. No! no! no! No man should be treated so, no man, no man!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
Gabriel was stunned by Pandora's compassion for a man who had caused her such harm. He shook his head in wonder as he stared into her eyes, as dark as cloud-shadow on a field of blue gentian. "That doesn't excuse him," he said thickly. Gabriel would never forgive the bastard. He wanted vengeance. He wanted to strip the flesh from the bastard's corpse and hang up his skeleton to scare the crows. His fingers contained a subtle tremor as he reached out to trace the fine edges of her face, the sweet, high plane of her cheekbone. "What did the doctor say about your ear? What treatment did he give?" "It wasn't necessary to send for a doctor." A fresh flood of rage seared his veins as the words sunk in. "Your eardrum was ruptured. What in God's name do you mean a doctor wasn't necessary?" Although he had managed to keep from shouting, his tone was far from civilized. Pandora quivered uneasily and began to inch backward. He realized the last thing she needed from him was a display of temper. Battening down his rampaging emotions, he used one arm to bring her back against his side. "No, don't pull away. Tell me what happened." "The fever had passed," she said after a long hesitation, "and... well, you have to understand my family. If something unpleasant happened, they ignored it, and it was never spoken of again. Especially if it was something my father had done when he'd lost his temper. After a while, no one remembered what had really happened. Our family history was erased and rewritten a thousand times. But ignoring the problem with my ear didn't make it disappear. Whenever I couldn't hear something, or when I stumbled or fell, it made my mother very angry. She said I'd been clumsy because I was hasty or careless. She wouldn't admit there was anything wrong with my hearing. She refused even to discuss it." Pandora stopped, chewing thoughtfully on her lower lip. "I'm making her sound terrible, and she wasn't. There were times when she was affectionate and kind. No one's all one way or the other." She flicked a glance of dread in his direction. "Oh God, you're not going to pity me, are you?" "No." Gabriel was anguished for her sake, and outraged. It was all he could do to keep his voice calm. "Is that why you keep it a secret? You're afraid of being pitied?" "That, and... it's a shame I'd rather keep private." "Not your shame. Your father's." "It feels like mine. Had I not been eavesdropping, my father wouldn't have disciplined me." "You were a child," he said brusquely. "What he did wasn't bloody discipline, it was brutality." To his surprise, a touch of unrepentant amusement curved Pandora's lips, and she looked distinctly pleased with herself. "It didn't even stop my eavesdropping. I just learned to be more clever about it." She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he'd never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
This one girl here, Devon, she’s from Detroit. She’s brand-new too. One day I was about to leave to the grocery store, which is like a ten-minute walk away. She asked me to pick up a sandwich for her (which was kind of annoying), so I was like, “Why don’t you come with me?” She was like, “I can’t, ’cause I can’t walk very far.” I was like, “It’s not even ten minutes. Come on, don’t be lazy—if anything it’ll be a mini workout.” She was like, “Ever since I got shot, it hurts when I walk uphill.” (The walk on the way back is pretty much all on an incline.) I asked her why she got shot. I thought . . . Detroit? Ghetto, right? Probably domestic abuse, or a drug-related thing. She goes, “I got in a fight over a parking space, and the guy shot me in both of my knees.
Asa Akira (Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story)
of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal—when it was only a step away. This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it: renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
a good story, I’ll give you that. So, how many times have you done this sort of thing?  Send the inbred trash out ahead on the road to spook up unsuspecting travelers and you all hang back, jerking each other off, waiting to ambush anyone that makes it past them?” The wounded man looked away, ignoring Shane’s comments. “Don’t worry kid, I won’t kill ya today. But if I catch you in a lie, or if I find more of your inbred cousins at this camp, I will make the last moments of your life very painful,” Shane said in a calm voice. “Why are you doing this?” Shane feigned laughter and ignored the question. “What’s your name kid?” “Kyle,” he answered. “Kyle, everything I do, I do for her.” “You kill for her?” “No, I protect her and I destroy anything that tries to harm her—” “It’s right up here, follow the white fence,” Kyle interrupted using his neck to point out a quickly approaching high fence skinned in white sheet metal. The fence was tall and set back off the road. Mounds of stacked cars and other junk could be seen piled high at points. Shane slowed the car and carefully eased over to the shoulder of the road. He put the car in park and killed the engine. Shane sat silently for a minute, hushing Kyle when he tried to speak. He opened the door and slowly walked to the front of the car while listening for sounds. He climbed onto the hood and moved to the roof of the sedan. He could just barely see inside the compound. As it appeared from the outside, it was definitely a scrap yard. Piles of sorted metal were scattered around a central building while rows of smashed and stacked cars made up the far sides of the lot. From
W.J. Lundy (Something To Fight For (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, #5))
Kell stopped walking and looked at her. “What is wrong with you?” he asked, sounding honestly baffled. “Do you care so little about your life that you would throw it all away for a few hours of adventure and a violent death?” Lila frowned. She’d admit that, in the beginning, all she wanted was an adventure, but that wasn’t why she was insisting now. The truth was, she’d seen the change in Kell, seen the shadow sweep across his eyes when he summoned that clever cursed magic, seen how hard it was for him to return to his senses after. Every time he used the stone, he seemed to lose a bigger piece of himself. So no, Lila wasn’t going with him just to satisfy some thirst for danger. And she wasn’t going with him just to keep him company. She was going because they’d come this far, and because she feared he wouldn’t succeed, not alone.
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
Every night, I sit in the rocking chair in the nursery when I give Willow her bedtime bottle. Tonight, I burped her halfway through her feeding like always. Then I sat her on my knees facing me and made funny faces. She looked right into my eyes. And she smiled. She’s ten weeks old and she just gave me her very first smile. I wish I’d taken a picture. I’m probably supposed to be documenting everything better for her baby book or whatever. She’s going to have a terrible baby book. But at least she’ll have a father who loves her. Because when she smiled at me tonight, I finally felt it. Love. A rush of love. I was so blown away by it I laughed, which made her smile at me even more. Then I hugged her small body and breathed in the smell of her Johnson’s baby shampoo. I could feel her heartbeat. Up until tonight, I was pretty sure Willow didn’t like me, and I understood why she didn’t. I didn’t blame her for resenting the idiot, bumbling guy who started doing for her all the things her gorgeous, familiar mother had done before. But tonight . . . tonight my little girl smiled at me. She gave her very first smile to me because I’m her person now. I’m her daddy and, in her way, I think she might love me, too. When I laid her against the inside of my elbow to feed her the rest of her bottle, her hand made a fist in the fabric of my shirt. She watched me as she drank down her formula. I’m tired and lonely. Parenting is far more difficult than I understood when I was a son and not yet a father. I miss my freedom and my friends and the life I had before Sylvie told me she was pregnant. I miss who I used to be. But tonight my daughter, a tiny girl in pink pajamas, smiled at me. Because I’m her person. Letter
Becky Wade (Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5))
I pulled at the knot again and heard threads begin to pop. “Allow me, Miss Jones,” said Armand, right at my back. There was no gracious way to refuse him. Not with Mrs. Westcliffe there, too. I exhaled and dropped my arms. I stared at the lotus petals in my painting as the new small twists and tugs of Armand’s hands rocked me back and forth. Jesse’s music began to reverberate somewhat more sharply than before. “There,” Armand said, soft near my ear. “Nearly got it.” “Most kind of you, my lord.” Mrs. Westcliffe’s voice was far more carrying. “Do you not agree, Miss Jones?” Her tone said I’d better. “Most kind,” I repeated. For some reason I felt him as a solid warmth behind me, behind all of me, even though only his knuckles made a gentle bumping against my spine. How blasted long could it take to unravel a knot? “Yes,” said Chloe unexpectedly. “Lord Armand is always a perfect gentleman, no matter who or what demands his attention.” “There,” the gentleman said, and at last his hands fell away. The front of the smock sagged loose. I shrugged out of it as fast as I could, wadding it up into a ball. “Excuse me.” I ducked a curtsy and began my escape to the hamper, but Mrs. Westcliffe cut me short. “A moment, Miss Jones. We require your presence.” I turned to face them. Armand was smiling his faint, cool smile. Mrs. Westcliffe looked as if she wished to fix me in some way. I raised a hand instinctively to my hair, trying to press it properly into place. “You have the honor of being invited to tea at the manor house,” the headmistress said. “To formally meet His Grace.” “Oh,” I said. “How marvelous.” I’d rather have a tooth pulled out. “Indeed. Lord Armand came himself to deliver the invitation.” “Least I could do,” said Armand. “It wasn’t far. This Saturday, if that’s all right.” “Um…” “I am certain Miss Jones will be pleased to cancel any other plans,” said Mrs. Westcliffe. “This Saturday?” Unlike me, Chloe had not concealed an inch of ground. “Why, Mandy! That’s the day you promised we’d play lawn tennis.” He cocked a brow at her, and I knew right then that she was lying and that she knew that he knew. She sent him a melting smile. “Isn’t it, my lord?” “I must have forgotten,” he said. “Well, but we cannot disappoint the duke, can we?” “No, indeed,” interjected Mrs. Westcliffe. “So I suppose you’ll have to come along to the tea instead, Chloe.” “Very well. If you insist.” He didn’t insist. He did, however, sweep her a very deep bow and then another to the headmistress. “And you, too, Mrs. Westcliffe. Naturally. The duke always remarks upon your excellent company.” “Most kind,” she said again, and actually blushed. Armand looked dead at me. There was that challenge behind his gaze, that one I’d first glimpsed at the train station. “We find ourselves in harmony, then. I shall see you in a few days, Miss Jones.” I tightened my fingers into the wad of the smock and forced my lips into an upward curve. He smiled back at me, that cold smile that said plainly he wasn’t duped for a moment. I did not get a bow. Jesse was at the hamper when I went to toss in the smock. Before I could, he took it from me, eyes cast downward, no words. Our fingers brushed beneath the cloth. That fleeting glide of his skin against mine. The sensation of hardened calluses stroking me, tender and rough at once. The sweet, strong pleasure that spiked through me, brief as it was. That had been on purpose. I was sure of it.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
WHEN I DESCRIBED THE TUMOR IN MY ESOPHAGUS as a “blind, emotionless alien,” I suppose that even I couldn’t help awarding it some of the qualities of a living thing. This at least I know to be a mistake: an instance of the pathetic fallacy (angry cloud, proud mountain, presumptuous little Beaujolais) by which we ascribe animate qualities to inanimate phenomena. To exist, a cancer needs a living organism, but it cannot ever become a living organism. Its whole malice—there I go again—lies in the fact that the “best” it can do is to die with its host. Either that or its host will find the measures with which to extirpate and outlive it. But, as I knew before I became ill, there are some people for whom this explanation is unsatisfying. To them, a rodent carcinoma really is a dedicated, conscious agent—a slow–acting suicide–murderer—on a consecrated mission from heaven. You haven’t lived, if I can put it like this, until you have read contributions such as this on the websites of the faithful: Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence.” Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yeah, keep believing that, Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire. There are numerous passages in holy scripture and religious tradition that for centuries made this kind of gloating into a mainstream belief. Long before it concerned me particularly I had understood the obvious objections. First, which mere primate is so damn sure that he can know the mind of god? Second, would this anonymous author want his views to be read by my unoffending children, who are also being given a hard time in their way, and by the same god? Third, why not a thunderbolt for yours truly, or something similarly awe–inspiring? The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got. Fourth, why cancer at all? Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: It’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Betrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. My so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed. And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half–aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
Her muscles clearly were not just for show. She pulled him into an empty chemistry classroom and closed the door. There were workstations and beakers and sinks with high faucets. A giant chart of the periodic table of elements, both a staple of every science classroom and a cliché, dominated the far wall. “Where is she?” Kristin asked. Adam wasn’t sure how to play it, so he went with honesty. “I don’t know.” “How can you not know?” “We were supposed to meet for dinner last night. She never showed.” “She just didn’t . . . ?” Kristin shook her head in confusion. “Did you call the police?” “What? No.” “Why not?” “I don’t know. She sent a text. She said she needed some time away.” “From what?” Adam just looked at her. Kristin said, “You?” “Seems so.” “Oh. Sorry.” Kristin stepped back, chastened. “So why are you here?” “Because I want to make sure she’s okay. I figured she’d be at work. She never calls in sick.” “Never,
Harlan Coben (The Stranger)
Through the dimness she could just make him out, stretched on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. He might have been silent, but he hadn't been asleep. She could feel his frown as he looked at her. "What are you doing?" "Moving closer to you." Dropping her gowns, she shook out her cloak and laid it next to his. "Why?" "Mice." He let a heartbeat pass, then asked, carefully, "You're afraid of mice?" She nodded. "Rodents. I don't discriminate." Swinging around, she sat on her cloak, then picked up her gowns and wriggled back and closer to him. "If I'm next to you, then either they'll give us both a wide berth, or if they decide to take a nibble, there's at least an even chance they'll nibble you first." His chest shook. He was struggling not to laugh. But at least he was trying. "Besides," she said, lying down and snuggling under her massed gowns, "I'm cold." A moment ticked past, then he sighed. He shifted in the hay beside her. She didn't know what he did, but suddenly she was sliding the last inches down a slope that hadn't been there before. She fetched up against him, against his side-hard, muscled, and wonderfully warm. Her senses leapt greedily, pleasantly shocked, delightedly surprised; she caught her breath and slapped them down. Desperately; this was Breckenridge-this was definitely not the time. His arm shifted and came around her, cradling her shoulders and gathering her against him. "This doesn't mean anything." The whispered words drifted down to her. Comfort, safety, warmth-it meant all those things. "I know," she murmured back. Her senses weren't listening. Her body now lay alongside his. Her breast brushed his side; through various layers her thighs grazed his. Her heartbeat deepened, sped up a little, too. Yet despite the sensual awareness, she could feel reassurance along with his warmth stealing through her, relaxing her tensed muscles bit by bit as, greatly daring, she settled her cheek on his chest. This doesn't mean anything. She knew what he meant. This was just for now, for this strange moment out of their usual lives in which he and she were just two people finding ways to weather a difficult situation. She quieted. Listened. The sound of his heartbeat, steady and sure, blocked out any rustlings. Thinking of the strange moment, of what made it so, she murmured, "We're fugitives, aren't we?" "Yes." "In a strange country, one not really our own, with no way to prove who we are." "Yes." "And a stranger, a very likely dangerous highlander, is pursuing us." "Hmm." She should feel frightened. She should be seriously worried. Instead, she closed her eyes, and with her cheek pillowed on Breckenridge's chest, his arm like warm steel around her, smoothly and serenely fell asleep. Breckenridge held her against him, and through senses far more attuned than he wished, followed the incremental falling away of her tension...until she slept. Softly, silently, in his arms, with the gentle huff of her breathing ruffling his senses, the seductive weight of her slender body stretched out against his the subtlest of tortures. Why had he done it? She might have slept close to him, but she would never have pushed to sleep in his arms. That had been entirely his doing, and he hadn't even stopped to think. What worried him most was that even if he had thought, had reasoned and debated, the result would have been the same. When it came to her, whatever the situation, there never was any question, no doubt in his mind as to what he should do. Her protection, her safety-caring for her. From the first instant he'd laid eyes on her four years ago, that had been his mind's fixation. Its decision. Nothing he'd done, nothing she'd done, had ever succeeded in altering that. But as to the why of that, the reason behind it...even now he didn't, was quite certain and absolutely sure he didn't, need to consciously know.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Okay,” I finally said. “Can we all agree that this is maybe the most screwed-up situation we’ve ever found ourselves in?” “Agreed,” they said in unison. “Awesome.” I gave a little nod. “And do either of you have any idea what we should do about it?” “Well, we can’t use magic,” Archer said. “And if we try to leave, we get eaten by Monster Fog,” Jenna added. “Right. So no plans at all, then?” Jenna frowned. “Other than rocking in the fetal position for a while?” “Yeah, I was thinking about taking one of those showers where you huddle in the corner fully clothed and cry,” Archer offered. I couldn’t help but snort with laughter. “Great. So we’ll all go have our mental breakdowns, and then we’ll somehow get ourselves out of this mess.” “I think our best bet is to lie low for a while,” Archer said. “Let Mrs. Casnoff think we’re all too shocked and awed to do anything. Maybe this assembly tonight will give us some answers.” “Answers,” I practically sighed. “About freaking time.” Jenna gave me a funny look. “Soph, are you…grinning?” I could feel my cheeks aching, so I knew that I was. “Look, you two have to admit: if we want to figure out just what the Casnoffs are plotting, this is pretty much the perfect place.” “My girl has a point,” Archer said, smiling at me. Now my cheeks didn’t just ache, they burned. Clearing her throat, Jenna said, “Okay, so we all go up to our rooms, then after the assembly tonight we can regroup and decide what to do next.” “Deal,” I said as Archer nodded. “Are we all going to high-five now?” Jenna asked after a pause. “No, but I can make up some kind of secret handshake if you want,” Archer said, and for a second, they smiled at each other. But just as quickly, the smile disappeared from Jenna’s face, and she said to me, “Let’s go. I want to see if our room is as freakified as the rest of this place.” “Good idea,” I said. Archer reached out and brushed his fingers over mine. “See you later, then?” he asked. His voice was casual, but my skin was hot where he touched me. “Definitely,” I answered, figuring that even a girl who has to stop evil witches from taking over the world could make time for kissage in there somewhere. He turned and walked away. As I watched him go, I could feel Jenna starting at me. “Fine,” she acknowledged with a dramatic roll of her eyes. “He’s a little dreamy.” I elbowed her gently in the side. “Thanks.” Jenna started to walk to the stairs. “You coming?” “Yeah,” I said. “I’ll be right up. I just want to take a quick look around down here.” “Why, so you can be even more depressed?” Actually, I wanted to stay downstairs just a little longer to see if anyone else showed up. So far, I’d seen nearly everyone I remembered from last year at Hex Hall. Had Cal been dragged here, too? Technically he hadn’t been a student, but Mrs. Casnoff had used his powers a lot last year. Would she still want him here? To Jenna, I just said, “Yeah, you know me. I like poking bruises.” “Okay. Get your Nancy Drew on.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
I’m really enjoying my solitude after feeling trapped by my family, friends and boyfriend. Just then I feel like making a resolution. A new year began six months ago but I feel like the time for change is now. No more whining about my pathetic life. I am going to change my life this very minute. Feeling as empowered as I felt when I read The Secret, I turn to reenter the hall. I know what I’ll do! Instead of listing all the things I’m going to do from this moment on, I’m going to list all the things I’m never going to do! I’ve always been unconventional (too unconventional if you ask my parents but I’ll save that account for later). I mentally begin to make my list of nevers. -I am never going to marry for money like Natasha just did. -I am never going to doubt my abilities again. -I am never going to… as I try to decide exactly what to resolve I spot an older lady wearing a bright red velvet churidar kurta. Yuck! I immediately know what my next resolution will be; I will never wear velvet. Even if it does become the most fashionable fabric ever (a highly unlikely phenomenon) I am quite enjoying my resolution making and am deciding what to resolve next when I notice Az and Raghav holding hands and smiling at each other. In that moment I know what my biggest resolve should be. -I will never have feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. Or for any friend’s boyfriend, for that matter. That’s four resolutions down. Six more to go? Why not? It is 2012, after all. If the world really does end this year, at least I’ll go down knowing I completed ten resolutions. I don’t need to look too far to find my next resolution. Standing a few centimetres away, looking extremely uncomfortable as Rags and Az get more oblivious of his existence, is Deepak. -I will never stay in a relationship with someone I don’t love, I vow. Looking for inspiration for my next five resolutions, I try to observe everyone in the room. What catches my eye next is my cousin Mishka giggling uncontrollably while failing miserably at walking in a straight line. Why do people get completely trashed in public? It’s just so embarrassing and totally not worth it when you’re nursing a hangover the next day. I recoil as memories of a not so long ago night come rushing back to me. I still don’t know exactly what happened that night but the fragments that I do remember go something like this; dropping my Blackberry in the loo, picking it up and wiping it with my new Mango dress, falling flat on my face in the middle of the club twice, breaking my Nine West heels, kissing an ugly stranger (Az insists he was a drug dealer but I think she just says that to freak me out) at the bar and throwing up on the Bandra-Worli sea link from Az’s car. -I will never put myself in an embarrassing situation like that again. Ever. I usually vow to never drink so much when I’m lying in bed with a hangover the next day (just like 99% of the world) but this time I’m going to stick to my resolution. What should my next resolution be?
Anjali Kirpalani (Never Say Never)
Why are you doing this? I don’t want you. Is that the problem? Is your ego so big you can’t handle a woman rejecting you?” “Oh, you want me alright, my sexy little witch. Want me so bad it scares you. Well, I’ve got news for you. It scares the fuck out of me, too. But I don’t care. When the options are settling down with you for life and popping out little demonlings or watching you walk away, I know what I choose.” For a moment, she couldn’t answer, could only gape at him as his words penetrated. Surely, she misunderstood. “What did you say?” “I want you as my mate.” No misunderstanding that time. She tamped down her elation by slapping it with the cold, hard truth. “You’ll hurt me.” “Trust me.” He asked too much. “I’m not the right woman.” “You’re all I want.” She shook her head lest his words weave a spell around her and make her believe. Yet despite all the warnings in her head, hope blossomed and love warmed her. How nice it would be to allow herself to love him. To trust him. Sadness entered his expression at her rejection. “I know it’s hard for you, little witch, but I promise you’ve nothing to fear. Unless the thought of too many orgasms in a row freaks you out.” And that quickly, he changed from pensive male to the one she’d grown to love with the mischievous smile. He lunged. She squealed like a little girl and ran. Not far though. With his ridiculously long stride, he quickly caught her and tossed her over his shoulder. He laughed as she beat at his broad back with her fists. “Save some of that energy for the bedroom because you are not leaving until you admit you care for me.” “I’ll kill you first.” “I like a girl who’s kinky.” “You’re impossible.” “No, but I am horny.” “How are we supposed to catch those souls if we’re fooling around here?” “Some things are more important.” “How can having sex with me be more important than ensuring you don’t burst into flame tomorrow?” “I would let someone beat me with a cat-o-nine too, if you’d just admit you like me.” “I hate you.” “Close. I see we’ll need to work on that.” -Ysabel & Remy
Eve Langlais (A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell, #1))
You want to control me.” She spoke dispassionately as though observing the plight of another woman far distant from herself. Dragon looked up, surprised. “You are my wife.” “Say rather possession for so do you think, do you not?” He shrugged, wondering why she stated the obvious. “All wives belong to their husbands.” “I wanted to be free.” His eyes darkened. There was greater challenge here than even he had thought. “You wanted to be safe from Wolscroft and the rest of them, even from me when you though misguidedly. That is why you fled.” She shook her head. “Oh, no, safety was a convent from which not even my father could have forced me. But it was not to one such that I fled, was it? I wanted freedom, and having tasted it, however briefly, I want it still.” His hands tightened on her, driven by the sudden, piercing pain her words brought. Did she think to leave him again? To flee as she had done and leave him once more bereft. No, by heaven, she would not! “No one is free,” he said fiercely. “We are all enmeshed in duty and responsibility.” “Your duty is of your own choosing, for you did not return here after many years away and willingly take up your inheritance. Your destiny is of your own making and you the master of it as much as any man can claim to be. I want the same myself, no more, less.” “But you are a woman . . .” His bewilderment was genuine. Such yearnings as she described belonged to the realm of men. Women were for hearth and home, the nurturing of children, such ordered security of days as could be wrested from uncertain fate. A man in the thick of battle, in the fury of adventure, in the depths of night had to be able to count on that, for without it, of what purpose was anything? “You are a woman,” he repeated firmly. “And my wife. You have been too long apart from womanly ways with no proper influence to guide you. I applaud your strength and your courage; both will breed true in my sons, but—” “Your sons? Your sons? They will be my sons, Lord Vanity, and my daughters as well, mayhap only daughters, for by heaven it would suit me to thwart you so!
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn’t that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I’d miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away. But it’s all around me, and you’re all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn’t yours and mine? It does to me. And I’m sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn’t change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It’s nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won’t. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me—of all the particles that will spread everywhere—will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing’s final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don’t, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I’ll see you sometime again, even if it’s not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the way things go after all—that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. And for you and me. Always, Your Peter P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
His expression was perturbed, as if he’d been reminded of something he had wanted to forget. But as his gaze slid over her bewildered face, his mouth curved a little, and he settled into the cradle of her body with an insolent familiarity that temporarily robbed her of breath. “Mr. Rohan … how … why … what are you doing here?” He replied without moving, as if he were planning to lie there and converse all day. His infinitely polite tone was an unsettling contrast to the intimacy of their position. “Miss Hathaway. What a pleasant surprise. As it happens, I’m visiting friends. And you?” “I live here.” “I don’t think so. This is Lord Westcliff’s estate.” Her heart thundered in her breast as her body absorbed the details of him. “I didn’t mean precisely here, I meant over there, on the other side of the woods. The Ramsay estate. We’ve just taken up residence.” She couldn’t seem to stop herself from chattering in the aftermath of nerves and fright. “What was that noise? What were you doing? Why do you have that tattoo on your arm? It’s a pooka—an Irish creature—isn’t it?” That last question earned her an arrested stare. Before Rohan could reply, the other two men approached. From her prone position, Amelia had an upside-down view of them. Like Rohan, they were in their shirtsleeves, with waistcoats left unbuttoned. One of them was a portly old gentleman with a shock of silver hair. He held a small wood-and-metal sextant, which had been strung around his neck on a lanyard. The other, black-haired man looked to be in his late thirties. He wasn’t as tall as Rohan, but he had an air of authority tempered with aristocratic arrogance. Amelia made a helpless movement, and Rohan lifted away from her with fluid ease. He helped her stand, his arm steadying her. “How far did it go?” he asked the men. “Devil take the rocket,” came a gravelly reply. “What is the woman’s condition?” “Unharmed.” The silver-haired gentleman remarked, “Impressive, Rohan. You covered a distance of fifty yards in no more than five or six seconds.” “I would hardly miss a chance to leap on a beautiful woman,” Rohan said, causing the older man to chuckle.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
Otter did this! I didn’t do anything wrong. He tricked me! He tricked me and left! Just like I knew he would! I think I hear him call my name, but my ears are pounding too hard to be sure. It sounds like the ocean. Im about to start running when I feel strong arms wrap around me from behind, clasping on my chest. I turn around to swing at him but can only get partway before I get caught in a vise grip. “Let go of me!” I snarl, wanting to kick and bite and punch and hurt. “Bear,” he says, his voice grumbling in my ear. “Bear.” “Im not like you!” I say, still struggling to get away. “Im not like that!” “I know, Bear. I know.” His breath is hot against my cold skin. “Dont you think I know that? I shouldnt have let it happen. Im sorry. Im so sorry.” I stop fighting him, feeling all the anger fall out of me like someone flipped a switch. “Why are you here?” I moan. “Why did you come back?” He grabs me by the chin, forcing me to stare into his eyes. “It has nothing to do with what happened between us. As far as I am concerned, that was a mistake. We never should have kissed.
T.J. Klune (Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1))
You, my dear, do not know how to have fun." "I do, too!" "You do not. You are as bad as Lucien. And do you know something? I think it's time someone showed you how to have fun. Namely, me. You can worry all you like about our situation tomorrow, but tonight ... tonight I'm going to make you laugh so hard that you'll forget all about how afraid of me you are." "I am not afraid of you!" "You are." And with that, he pushed his chair back, stalked around the table, and in a single easy movement, swept her right out of her chair and into his arms. "Gareth!  Put me down!" He only laughed, easily carrying her toward the bed. "Gareth, I am a grown woman!" "You are a grown woman who behaves in a manner far too old for her years," he countered, still striding toward the bed. "As the wife of a Den member, that just will not do." "Gareth, I don't want — I mean, I'm not ready for that!" "That? Who said anything about that?"  He tossed her lightly onto the bed. "Oh, no, my dear Juliet. I'm not going to do that —" She tried to scoot away. "Then what are you going to do?" "Why, I'm going to wipe that sadness out of your eyes if only for tonight. I'm going to make you forget your troubles, forget your fears, forget everything but me. And you know how I'm going to do that, O dearest wife?"  He grabbed a fistful of her petticoats as she tried to escape. "I'm going to tickle you until you giggle ... until you laugh ... until you're hooting so loudly that all of London hears you!" He fell upon the bed like a swooping hawk, and Juliet let out a helpless shriek as his fingers found her ribs and began tickling her madly. "Stop!  We just ate!  You'll make me sick!" "What's this? Your husband makes you sick?" "No, it's just that — aaaoooooo!" He tickled her harder. She flailed and giggled and cried out, embarrassed about each loud shriek but helpless to prevent them. He was laughing as hard as she. Catching one thrashing leg, he unlaced her boot and deftly removed it. She yelped as his fingers found the sensitive instep, and she kicked out reflexively. He neatly ducked just in time to avoid having his nose broken, catching her by the ankle and tickling her toes, her soles, her arch through her stockings. "Stop, Gareth!"  She was laughing so hard, tears were streaming from her eyes. "Stop it, damn it!" Thank goodness Charlotte, worn out by her earlier tantrum, was such a sound sleeper! The tickling continued. Juliet kicked and fought, her struggles tossing the heavy, ruffled petticoats and skirts of her lovely blue gown halfway up her thigh to reveal a long, slender calf sheathed in silk. She saw his gaze taking it all in, even as he made a grab for her other foot. "No!  Gareth, I shall lose my supper if you keep this up, I swear it I will — oooahhhhh!" He seized her other ankle, yanked off the remaining boot, and began torturing that foot as well, until Juliet was writhing and shrieking on the bed in a fit of laughter. The tears streamed down her cheeks, and her stomach ached with the force of her mirth. And when, at last, he let up and she lay exhausted across the bed in a twisted tangle of skirts, petticoats, and chemise, her chest heaving and her hair in a hopeless tumbled-down flood of silken mahogany beneath her head, she looked up to see him grinning down at her, his own hair hanging over his brow in tousled, seductive disarray.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
I had to pass that bear, to get home. I thought that if I could scare him, he might get out of the road and let me go by. So I took a deep breath, and suddenly I shouted with all my might and ran at him, waving my arms. “He didn’t move. I did not run very far toward him, I tell you! I stopped and looked at him, and he stood looking at me. Then I shouted again. There he stood. I kept on shouting and waving my arms, but he did not budge. “Well, it would do me no good to run away. There were other bears in the woods. I might meet one any time. I might as well deal with this one as with another. Besides, I was coming home to Ma and you girls. I would never get here, if I ran away from everything in the woods that scared me. “So at last I looked around, and I got a good big club, a solid, heavy branch that had been broken from a tree by the weight of snow in the winter. “I lifted it up in my hands, and I ran straight at that bear. I swung my club as hard as I could and brought it down, bang! on his head. “And there he still stood, for he was nothing but a big, black, burned stump! “I had passed it on my way to town that morning. It wasn’t a bear at all. I only thought it was a bear, because I had been thinking all the time about bears and being afraid I’d meet one.” “It really wasn’t a bear at all?” Mary asked. “No, Mary, it wasn’t a bear at all. There I had been yelling, and dancing, and waving my arms, all by myself in the Big Woods, trying to scare a stump!” Laura said: “Ours was really a bear. But we were not scared, because we thought it was Sukey.” Pa did not say anything, but he hugged her tighter. “Oo-oo! That bear might have eaten Ma and me all up!” Laura said, snuggling closer to him. “But Ma walked right up to him and slapped him, and he didn’t do anything at all. Why didn’t he do anything?” “I guess he was too surprised to do anything, Laura,” Pa said. “I guess he was afraid, when the lantern shone in his eyes. And when Ma walked up to him and slapped him, he knew she wasn’t afraid.” “Well, you were brave, too,” Laura said. “Even if it was only a stump, you thought it was a bear. You’d have hit him on the head with a club, if he had been a bear, wouldn’t you, Pa?” “Yes,” said Pa, “I would. You see, I had to.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1))
She threw Lillian a laughing glance. “I’m sure he has found it refreshing to encounter a woman who actually dares to disagree with him.” “I’m not certain that ‘refreshing’ would be his first choice of words,” Lillian replied wryly. “However, when I don’t like something that he’s done, I do not hesitate to tell him so.” “Good,” Lady Olivia returned. “That is precisely what my brother needs. There are few women— or men, for that matter— who ever contradict him. He is a strong man who requires an equally strong wife to balance his nature.” Lillian found herself needlessly smoothing the skirts of her pale green gown as she remarked carefully, “If Lord Westcliff and I did marry… he would face many objections from relatives and friends, wouldn’t he? Especially from the countess.” “His friends would never dare,” Lady Olivia replied at once. “As for my mother…” She hesitated and then said frankly, “She has already made it clear that she does not approve of you. I doubt she ever will. However, that leaves you in very large company, as she disapproves of nearly everyone. Does it worry you that she opposes the match?” “It tempts me beyond reason,” Lillian said, causing Lady Olivia to erupt with laughter. “Oh, I do like you,” she gasped. “You must marry Marcus, as I would love above all else to have you as a sister-in-law.” Sobering, she stared at Lillian with a warm smile. “And I have a selfish reason for hoping that you will accept him. Although Mr. Shaw and I have no immediate plans to move to New York, I know that day will not be long in coming. When that happens, I should be relieved to know that Marcus is married and has someone to care for him, with both his sisters living so far away.” She stood from the bench, straightening her skirts. “The reason I’ve told you all of this is because I wanted you to understand why it is so difficult for Marcus to abandon himself to love. Difficult, but not impossible. My sister and I have finally managed to break free of the past, with the help of our husbands. But Marcus’s chains are the heaviest of all. I know that he is not the easiest man to love. However, if you could bring yourself to meet him halfway… perhaps even a bit more than halfway… I believe you would never have cause to regret it.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Elizabeth automatically started forward three steps, then halted, mesmerized. An acre of thick Aubusson carpet stretched across the book-lined room, and at the far end of it, seated behind a massive baronial desk with his shirtsleeves folded up on tanned forearms, was the man who had lied in the little cottage in Scotland and shot at a tree limb with her. Oblivious to the other three men in the room who were politely coming to their feet, Elizabeth watched Ian arise with that same natural grace that seemed so much a part of him. With a growing sense of unreality she heard him excuse himself to his visitors, saw him move away from behind his desk, and watched him start toward her with long, purposeful strides. He grew larger as he neared, his broad shoulders blocking her view of the room, his amber eyes searching her face, his smile one of amusement and uncertainty. “Elizabeth?” he said. Her eyes wide with embarrassed admiration, Elizabeth allowed him to lift her hand to his lips before she said softly, “I could kill you.” He grinned at the contrast between her words and her voice. “I know.” “You might have told me.” “I hoped to surprise you.” More correctly, he had hoped she didn’t know, and now he had his proof: Just as he had thought, Elizabeth had agreed to marry him without knowing anything of his personal wealth. That expression of dazed disbelief on her face had been real. He’d needed to see it for himself, which was why he’d instructed his butler to bring her to him as soon as she arrived. Ian had his proof, and with it came the knowledge that no matter how much she refused to admit it to him or to herself, she loved him. She could insist for now and all time that all she wanted from marriage was independence, and now Ian could endure it with equanimity. Because she loved him. Elizabeth watched the expressions play across his face. Thinking he was waiting for her to say more about his splendid house, she gave him a jaunty smile and teasingly said, “’Twill be a sacrifice, to be sure, but I shall contrive to endure the hardship of living in such a place as this. How many rooms are there?” she asked. His brows rose in mockery. “One hundred and eighty-two.” “A small place of modest proportions,” she countered lightly. “I suppose we’ll just have to make do.” Ian thought they were going to do very well.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Corvallis sometimes thought back on the day, three decades ago, when Richard Forthrast had reached down and plucked him out of his programming job at Corporation 9592 and given him a new position, reporting directly to Richard. Corvallis had asked the usual questions about job title and job description. Richard had answered, simply, “Weird stuff.” When this proved unsatisfactory to the company’s ISO-compliant HR department, Richard had been forced to go downstairs and expand upon it. In a memorable, extemporaneous work of performance art in the middle of the HR department’s open-plan workspace, he had explained that work of a routine, predictable nature could and should be embodied in computer programs. If that proved too difficult, it should be outsourced to humans far away. If it was somehow too sensitive or complicated for outsourcing, then “you people” (meaning the employees of the HR department) needed to slice it and dice it into tasks that could be summed up in job descriptions and advertised on the open employment market. Floating above all of that, however, in a realm that was out of the scope of “you people,” was “weird stuff.” It was important that the company have people to work on “weird stuff.” As a matter of fact it was more important than anything else. But trying to explain “weird stuff” to “you people” was like explaining blue to someone who had been blind since birth, and so there was no point in even trying. About then, he’d been interrupted by a spate of urgent text messages from one of the company’s novelists, who had run aground on some desolate narrative shore and needed moral support, and so the discussion had gone no further. Someone had intervened and written a sufficiently vague job description for Corvallis and made up a job title that would make it possible for him to get the level of compensation he was expecting. So it had all worked out fine. And it made for a fun story to tell on the increasingly rare occasions when people were reminiscing about Dodge back in the old days. But the story was inconclusive in the sense that Dodge had been interrupted before he could really get to the essence of what “weird stuff” actually was and why it was so important. As time went on, however, Corvallis understood that this very inconclusiveness was really a fitting and proper part of the story.
Neal Stephenson (Fall; or, Dodge in Hell)
Behind her, Annabelle heard Daisy say to Lillian accusingly, “I thought you said that no one ever comes to this meadow!” “That’s what I was told,” Lillian replied, her voice muffled as she stepped into the circle of her gown and bent to jerk it upward. The earl, who had been mute until that point, spoke with his gaze trained studiously on the distant scenery. “Your information was correct, Miss Bowman,” he said in a controlled manner. “This field is usually unfrequented.” “Well, then, why are you here?” Lillian demanded accusingly, as if she, and not Westcliff, was the owner of the estate. The question caused the earl’s head to whip around. He gave the American girl an incredulous glance before he dragged his gaze away once more. “Our presence here is purely coincidental,” he said coldly. “I wished to have a look at the northwest section of my estate today.” He gave the word my a subtle but distinct emphasis. “While Mr. Hunt and I were traveling along the lane, we heard your screaming. We thought it best to investigate, and came with the intention of rendering aid, if necessary. Little did I realize that you would be using this field for…for…” “Rounders-in-knickers,” Lillian supplied helpfully, sliding her arms into her sleeves. The earl seemed incapable of repeating the ridiculous phrase. He turned his horse away and spoke curtly over his shoulder. “I plan to develop a case of amnesia within the next five minutes. Before I do so, I would suggest that you refrain from any future activities involving nudity outdoors, as the next passersby who discover you may not prove to be as indifferent as Mr. Hunt and I.” Despite Annabelle’s mortification, she had to repress a skeptical snort at the earl’s claim of indifference on Hunt’s behalf, not to mention his own. Hunt had certainly managed to get quite an eyeful of her. And though Westcliff’s scrutiny had been far more subtle, it had not escaped her that he had stolen a quick but thorough glance at Lillian before he had veered his horse away. However, in light of her current state of undress, it was hardly the time to deflate Westcliff’s holier-than-thou demeanor. “Thank you, my lord,” Annabelle said with a calmness that pleased her immensely. “And now, having dispensed such excellent advice, I would ask that you allow us some privacy to restore ourselves.” “With pleasure,” Westcliff growled.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Almost Out Of The Sky" Almost out of the sky, half of the moon anchors between two mountains. Turning, wandering night, the digger of eyes. Let’s see how many stars are smashed in the pool. It makes a cross of mourning between my eyes, and runs away. Forge of blue metals, nights of stilled combats, my heart revolves like a crazy wheel. Girl who have come from so far, been brought from so far, sometimes your glance flashes out under the sky. Rumbling, storm, cyclone of fury, you cross above my heart without stopping. Wind from the tombs carries off, wrecks, scatters your sleepy root. The big trees on the other side of her, unprooted. But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel. You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves. Behind the nocturnal mountains, white lily of conflagration, ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything. Longing that sliced my breast into pieces, it is time to take another road, on which she does not smile. Storm that buries the bells, muddy swirl of torments, why touch her now, why make her sad. Oh to follow the road that leads away from everything, without anguish, death, winter waiting along it with their eyes open through the dew
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Thanks for helping me clean up. Still can't understand a man willing to help out in the kitchen, though. You sure it wasn't just so you could question me?" "I'm sure. Why do you find that so hard to believe?" He stood directly in front of her, so close Willow could feel his warm breath on her cheek. "I..." Her heart burst into a drumroll. A rush of hot blood spilled into all the places she'd always considered private. What was this magic? Without so much as a light caress, he stole her senses and left her trembling with an unnameable desire. She struggled against the sudden heightening of her senses. What was it I'd been about to say? Oh,yes. "Well," she began, "you're a man." Rider chuckled softly, the sound rippling down her spine. "You noticed that, did you?" She exhaled in exasperation. "Be quiet and let me finish. And stand back." She pushed against his chest, then yanked her hands away as if burnt. "I can't breathe with you caging me in like this." He arched a dark eyebrow but politely stepped to her side and leaned his shoulder against the house. "Better?" "It'll do." He was still too close as far as Willow was concerned, but she'd be damned if she'd let him know how he affected her. "You got me off the subject, Sinclair." "I did?" "Yes,you...Never mind.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
I can’t help thinking,” she confided when he finished answering her questions about women in India who covered their faces and hair in public, “that it is grossly unfair that I was born a female and so must never know such adventures, or see but a few of those places. Even if I were to journey there, I’d only be allowed to go where everything was as civilized as-as London!” “There does seem to be a case of extreme disparity between the privileges accorded the sexes,” Ian agreed. “Still, we each have our duty to perform,” she informed him with sham solemnity. “And there’s said to be great satisfaction in that.” “How do you view your-er-duty?” he countered, responding to her teasing tone with a lazy white smile. “That’s easy. It is a female’s duty to be a wife who is an asset to her husband in every way. It is a male’s duty to do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes, so long as he is prepared to defend his country should the occasion demand it in his lifetime-which it very likely won’t. Men,” she informed him, “gain honor by sacrificing themselves on the field of battle while we sacrifice ourselves on the altar of matrimony.” He laughed aloud then, and Elizabeth smiled back at him, enjoying herself hugely. “Which, when one considers it, only proves that our sacrifice is by far the greater and more noble.” “How is that?” he asked, still chuckling. “It’s perfectly obvious-battles last mere days or weeks, months at the very most. While matrimony lasts a lifetime! Which brings to mind something else I’ve often wondered about,” she continued gaily, giving full rein to her innermost thoughts. “And that is?” he prompted, grinning, watching her as if he never wanted to stop. “Why do you suppose, after all that, they call us the weaker sex?” Their laughing gazes held, and then Elizabeth realized how outrageous he must be finding some of her remarks. “I don’t usually go off on such tangents,” she said ruefully. “You must think I’m dreadfully ill-bred.” “I think,” he softly said, “that you are magnificent.” The husky sincerity in his deep voice snatched her breath away. She opened her mouth, thinking frantically for some light reply that could restore the easy camaraderie of a minute before, but instead of speaking she could only draw a long, shaky breath. “And,” he continued quietly, “I think you know it.” This was not, not the sort of foolish, flirtatious repartee she was accustomed to from her London beaux, and it terrified her as much as the sensual look in those golden eyes. Pressing imperceptibly back against the arm of the sofa, she told herself she was only overacting to what was nothing more than empty flattery. “I think,” she managed with a light laugh that stuck in her throat, “that you must find whatever female you’re with ‘magnificent.’” “Why would you say a thing like that?” Elizabeth shrugged. “Last night at supper, for one thing.” When he frowned at her as if she were speaking in a foreign language, she prodded, “You remember Lady Charise Dumont, our hostess, the same lovely brunette on whose every word you were hanging at supper last night?” His frown became a grin. “Jealous?” Elizabeth lifted her elegant little chin and shook her head. “No more than you were of Lord Howard.” She felt a small bit of satisfaction as his amusement vanished. “The fellow who couldn’t seem to talk to you without touching your arm?” he inquired in a silky-soft voice. “That Lord Howard? As a matter of fact, my love, I spent most of my meal trying to decide whether I wanted to shove his nose under his right ear or his left.” Startled, musical laughter erupted from her before she could stop it. “You did nothing of the sort,” she chuckled. “Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.” “Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
When I burst into the terminal, my eyes swept around, bouncing from person to person in the crowded, bustling space. My stomach fell a little when I didn’t see him, but I knew he probably couldn’t come this far. He was probably at baggage claim. I looked around for a sign to point me in the right direction and finally saw one labeled Baggage Claim with an arrow pointing off to the left. But I didn’t follow the arrow. My eyes fixed on someone standing beneath the sign. His hands were jammed into the pockets of his well-worn slouchy jeans. The relaxed action pulled the waistband low, highlighting his flat, narrow waist his Henley tee molded to. As usual, he was wearing his varsity jacket and his blond hair was a mess. My gaze locked on his sapphire-blue eyes and didn’t let go. His eyes, ohmigod, his eyes. The blue was so intense it served as an emergency brake on everything in my life. The second I looked at him, everything else came to a screeching halt. I no longer noticed the huge crowd rushing around. The anxiety-causing flight was just a distant memory, and the two weeks I spent longing for his touch became something I would live through ten times over just to be in this moment with him again. His lips pulled into a smile and the charm that oozed from every pore in his body made me almost lightheaded. Romeo pulled his hands out of his pockets and straightened, motioning for me. I rushed across the space separating us, my bag slapping against my side as I, for once, gracefully maneuvered around the people in my path. His chuckle brushed over me when I was just steps away, and I threw myself at him with a little sigh of relief. My legs wrapped around his waist and his arms locked around my back. I burrowed my head into his shoulder and inhaled deep, taking in his distinctive scent. “Rim,” he murmured, his voice low. I pulled back and his lips were on mine instantly. The moment our lips touched, he stilled, his body and mouth pausing against mine. Before I could wonder why, he muttered a garbled curse against my mouth and then his lips began to move. He kissed me softly but fiercely. There was so much possession in the way he kissed me, in the way his arms locked around me that my heart stuttered. I parted my lips so his tongue could sweep inside, and when my tongue met his, desire, hot and heavy, unfurled within me. Someone chuckled as they walked by, and Romeo retreated slightly, still letting his mouth linger on mine before completely pulling away. He rested his forehead against mine and he smiled. “I really fucking missed you.” “Me too,” I whispered. -Romeo & Rimmel
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
It's taken me no time to see, just how much you really mean to me. [Name], it's taken less than a week to realize i want you in my life, And not just as a friend, I don't want to watch as another guys wanders into your life and sweeps you off your feet,Call me selfish, but I'm the only boy I want to see you with, I don't want another boy to hold you in his arms, and push your hair behind your ear, and call you beautiful, I don't want another boy to kiss you gently on the forhead and tell you his feelings about you are indescribable through words. I don't want another boy to hold your hand. I want to be the boy who gets to do all of those things. I want to be the boy who gets to call you his, more than anything. I'm not perfect, I'm far from it. but i know that im going to treat you as perfect as possible, and i knowi'm never once going to let you down. I'm going to give you everything you deserve, and im going to make you the happiest girl in the world, Because, to me you're so much more than just every other girl. You're perfect. There's many girls in the world but none of them are you, And you're the only one I've fallen for so fast, and you're the only one i know for a fact i want to call mine. There's just so much about you that has pushed me off the edge, and made me fall harder than I have before. Your eyes for example those beautiful eys of yours, I have never seen anthing as beautiful in my life as your eyes. That gorgeous,color that just makes illuminates beauty, and makes my heart stop, And youre smile, I have no idea why you dont show it off to everyone. You told me you don't like your smile, but i have no idea how you couldn't, It's pefect. I could look at that smile all day long, and i mean it. I never want to see your face without it, because that smile is absolutely beautiful. There's so much about you, that's unique to you, that makes you who you are, and makes you so perfect. There's no other girl on this entire planet that has the same eyes, and smile, you do, And that's reason enough for me to want you, and no toher girl, And that's why defines you from every other girl, how beautiful you really are.I understand, any guy could tell you you're beautiful, but I'm not any guy. I'm me, and im not just telling you you're beautiful, [Name], I'm telling you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, and I want you to believe me when i tell you that, I want you to see youself as beautiful as I see you, I want to look you in the eyes, face to face, and tell you you're the most beautiful girl in the whole world, then hold you close to me, and never let you go, I don't want you to think I'm another guy who's going to lie to you, and break your heart. I want you to believe I really do mean all of this, because I do, with all of my heart, I want to spend nights with you in my arms, i want to kiss you on the forhead every night before bed, I want to try and put my feelings for you into words, just to see that beautiful smile of yours, I want to call you mine, and no one else's, I want you, and no one else, and I can't stress how much i really mean that. Imagine laying in the snow, on a calm winter night, looking up at a clear, starry, full moon night, holding hands, not speaking a word, just laying beside one another, listening, to a gentle breeze, taking in how beautiful stars, and the moon are, Feeling completely at peace with everything, like we're in a land far away from everything, and nothing could possibly take that away that feeling of safety , and complete inner happiness. That's howw I'd describe my feelings for you are. Absolutely perfect in every way. If I am lucky enough to see you tomorrow, I'm going to take your breath away, and prove to you I really am the boy who you deserve. I'm going to make you the happiest girl in the entire world. I feel like I may be falling for you way to fast, and way to soon, but I don't care. not one bit, I've never been so sure of anything.
Jessi (Poetry: The Inner Mind)
Like many dogs, young Sirius found human music quite excruciating. An isolated vocal or instrumental theme was torture enough to him; but when several voices or instruments combined, he seemed to lose control of himself completely. His fine auditory discrimination made even well-executed solos seem to him badly out of tune. Harmony and the combination of several themes resulted for him in hideous cacophony. Elizabeth and the children would sometimes sing rounds, for instance when they were coming downt he moor after a picnic. Sirius invariably had to give up his usual far-ranging course and draw into the party to howl. The indignant children would chase him away, but as soon as the singing began again he would return and once more give tongue. On one occasion Tamsy, who was the most seriously musical member of the family, cried imploringly, 'Sirius, do either keep quiet or keep away! Why cant't you let us enjoy ourselves?' He replied, 'But how can you like such a horrible jarring muddle of sweet noises? I have to come to you because they're so sweet, and I have to howl because it's a mess, and because-oh because it might be so lovely.' Once he said, 'If I were to paint a picture could you just keep away? Wouldn't you go crazy because of the all-wrongness of the colour? Well, sounds are far more exciting to me than your queer colour is to you.
Olaf Stapledon
I went to a party, And remembered what you said. You told me not to drink, Mom So I had a sprite instead. I felt proud of myself, The way you said I would, That I didn't drink and drive, Though some friends said I should. I made a healthy choice, And your advice to me was right, The party finally ended, And the kids drove out of sight. I got into my car, Sure to get home in one piece, I never knew what was coming, Mom Something I expected least. Now I'm lying on the pavement, And I hear the policeman say, The kid that caused this wreck was drunk, Mom, his voice seems far away. My own blood's all around me, As I try hard not to cry. I can hear the paramedic say, This girl is going to die. I'm sure the guy had no idea, While he was flying high, Because he chose to drink and drive, Now I would have to die. So why do people do it, Mom Knowing that it ruins lives? And now the pain is cutting me, Like a hundred stabbing knives. Tell sister not to be afraid, Tell daddy to be brave, And when I go to heaven, Put Daddy's Girl on my grave. Someone should have taught him, That its wrong to drink and drive. Maybe if his parents had, I'd still be alive. My breath is getting shorter, Mom I'm getting really scared. These are my final moments, And I'm so unprepared. I wish that you could hold me Mom, As I lie here and die. I wish that I could say, "I love you, Mom!" So I love you and good-bye.
Anonymous
Why does everyone call you Mexican?” he asks. My head jerks up. “Huh?” “I’m distracting you with an unrelated and potentially rude question. Aaron called you Mexican. So did they. But you don’t have an accent, and I knew a guy at school named Vasquez who was from Spain. So as the foreigner who hasn’t quite figured out your country, what tells them you’re Mexican?” I want to brush off the question. Really not the time. But that’s the point, isn’t it? I look down at my quavering hands, and when I squeeze my eyes shut, all I see is Predator, pulling the trigger. I can hear Gray’s and Predator’s footsteps. They’re far enough away and we’re well enough hidden that we’re safe here. For now. I glance at Max. “I don’t have an accent because my family has been here for three generations. My father’s family comes from Spain. My mother’s is from Cuba. That makes me Hispanic, and the presumption here—far enough from the border that there aren’t a lot of Latino immigrants—is that Hispanic equals Mexican.” “So Hispanic and Latino mean the same thing?” I shake my head. “Hispanic means you are descended from a country that speaks Spanish. Latino means you’re descended from a country in Latin America. Some are both, like Cuba. But if you come from Brazil, you’re Latino and not Hispanic, because the official language is Portuguese.” “And if it’s Spain, it’s Hispanic and not Latino. Excellent. My lesson in American terminology for the day.
Kelley Armstrong (The Masked Truth)
Tatia…Tatiasha,” he said huskily, taking her hands and kissing them, kissing her wrists and the insides of her forearms. “Yes?” she said, just as huskily. “We’re alone together.” “I know,” she replied, suppressing a moan. “We have privacy.” “Hmm.” “Privacy, Tania!” Alexander said intensely. “For the first time in our life you and I have real privacy. We had it yesterday. And we have it today.” She couldn’t take the emotion in his crème brûlée eyes. She lowered her gaze. “Look at me.” “I can’t,” she whispered. Alexander cupped her small face in his massive hands. “Are you…scared?” “Terrified.” “No. Please, don’t be scared of me.” He kissed her deeply on the lips, so deeply, so fully, so lovingly, that Tatiana felt the aching pit inside her open up and flare upward. She tottered, physically unable to continue sitting upright. “Tatiasha,” he said, “why are you so beautiful? Why?” “I’m a rag,” she said. “Look at you.” He hugged her. “God, what a blessing.” Pulling away, Alexander took her hands. “Tania, you are my miracle, you know that, don’t you? You are the one God sent me to give me faith.” He paused. “He sent you to redeem me, to comfort me, and to heal me—and that’s just so far,” he added with a smile. “I’m barely able to hold myself together right now, I want to make love to you so much…” Here he stopped. “I know you’re afraid. I will never hurt you. Will you come into my tent with me?” “Yes,” Tatiana said, softly but audibly.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
She drifted down the walk carelessly for a moment, stunned by the night. The moon had come out, and though not dramatically full or a perfect crescent, its three quarters were bright enough to turn the fog and dew and all that had the power to shimmer a bright silver, and everything else- the metal of the streetlamps, the gates, the cracks in the cobbles- a velvety black. After a moment Wendy recovered from the strange beauty and remembered why she was there. She padded into the street before she could rethink anything and pulled up her hood. "Why didn't I do this earlier?" she marveled. Sneaking out when she wasn't supposed to was its own kind of adventure, its own kind of magic. London was beautiful. It felt like she had the whole city to herself except for a stray cat or two. Despite never venturing beyond the neighborhood much by herself, she had plenty of time with maps, studying them for someday adventures. And as all roads lead to Rome, so too do all the major thoroughfares wind up at the Thames. Names like Vauxhall and Victoria (and Horseferry) sprang from her brain as clearly as if there had been signs in the sky pointing the way. Besides Lost Boys and pirates, Wendy had occasionally terrified her brothers with stories about Springheel Jack and the half-animal orphan children with catlike eyes who roamed the streets at night. As the minutes wore on she felt her initial bravery dissipate and terror slowly creep down her neck- along with the fog, which was also somehow finding its way under her coat, chilling her to her core. "If I'm not careful I'm liable to catch a terrible head cold! Perhaps that's really why people don't adventure out in London at night," she told herself sternly, chasing away thoughts of crazed, dagger-wielding murderers with a vision of ugly red runny noses and cod-liver oil. But was it safer to walk down the middle of the street, far from shadowed corners where villains might lurk? Being exposed out in the open meant she would be more easily seen by police or other do-gooders who would try to escort her home. "My mother is sick and requires this one particular tonic that can only be obtained from the chemist across town," she practiced. "A nasty decoction of elderberries and slippery elm, but it does such wonders for your throat. No one else has it. And do you know how hard it is to call for a cab this time of night? In this part of town? That's the crime, really." In less time than she imagined it would take, Wendy arrived at a promenade that overlooked the mighty Thames. She had never seen it from that particular angle before or at that time of night. On either bank, windows of all the more important buildings glowed with candles or gas lamps or even electric lights behind their icy panes, little tiny yellow auras that lifted her heart. "I do wish I had done this before," she breathed. Maybe if she had, then things wouldn't have come to this...
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales))
I pulled the chair up to the bedside and studied his face. He was still pale, but he looked like Edward again. That cold bleakness was back in his eyes when no one but me was looking. "What's wrong?" he asked. "It couldn't just be because you nearly died," I said. "No," he said. I smiled, but he didn't smile back. "Bernardo came to see me, but Olaf never did," he said. I realized then what he thought I'd waited around to tell him. "You think I killed Olaf, and I've been waiting for you to get healthy enough to give you the same choice you gave me after Harley died," I laughed. "Sweet Jesus, Edward." "You didn't kill him." I watched him relax against his pillow, visibly relieved. "No, I didn't kill him." I took Olaf's letter out of my back pocket and handed it to him. He read it while I watched his face. Nothing moved but his eyes. He had no reaction. "He's a good man at your back, Anita." "You're not suggesting I date Olaf?" He almost laughed. "No, fuck no. Stay as far away from him as you can. If he comes to St. Louis, kill him. Don't wait for him to deserve it. Just do it." "I agree someone needs to kill Olaf, but why are you so adamant all of a sudden? You trusted him enough to bring him here to your town." "Olaf has never had a girlfriend. He's had whores and he's had victims. Maybe it's true love, but I think if he shows up and finds that you won't be his little serial killer pin-up girl, that he'll turn violent. You don't want to know what he's like when he's violent, Anita. You really, really don't.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9))
Oh,Ella. I wish you'd had a better time at the ball." "Fuhgeddaboudit," I muttered. Greaseball. Freddy. Freak. "It's not like she and I were ever going to be BFFs." "I wasn't just referring to Amanda." Of course he wasn't. "I'll try," I moaned into the crook of my elbow. "Oh, Lord.I'll try to carry on." "That sounds rather dramatic, even for you." "It's Styx," I told him. "After your time, before mine. I don't know all the words,but those work for the moment. And for the record, I'm being ironic, not dramatic." "If you say so." I ignored him. "I have had my last flutter over Alex Bainbridge. I mean it. Frankie was right.How many signs do I need that we are never, ever going to have...anything...before I get it? Obviously, it doesn't matter that we realte to the same schizo seventies songs. Or that we can discuss antique Japanese woodblock prints. Or that when he sits next to me, he kinda takes my breath away. You would think that would count for a lot,wouldn't you?" Edward gets the concept of rhetorical questions, so I went on. "I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess about what makes Amanda's pulse go all skittery, but I would bet anything it's not Alex. And he's still with her. He doesn't belong with her, but apparently he feels he belongs to her. Explain that,please." "Oh,Ella.We men are not always the best at looking beyond the...er..." "Boobs,Edward. You can say it. Amanda Alstead has boobs and blonda hair. Beyond that, I can't see a single thing that's special about her." "Because there isn't a single thing. Beyond the...er, obvious. You,on the other hand,are a creature of infinite charms. Shall I list them alphabetically or from the top down?" I scowled up at him. "Y'know, you are beginning to sound a little too much like Frankie and Sadie,my deluded Greek chorus." "yes,well,I rather thought that's what friends are for." "You're not supposed to be my friend," I muttered. "You're supposed to be my Prince Charming." "Ahem." Edward's sculpted lips compressed into a grim line. "Have you looked at me lately? I am supposed to be startling and even a bit scary." "Nope.Neither." I rested my chin on my forearm. "To me,you are perfect. You are loyal and reliable and completely lacking in surprises." "That is a good thing?" "Absolutely," I said. "It's an excellent thing.I don't want any more surprises, over." "Hardly an admirable goal,that." "Maybe not," I agreed, "but pleasant. Among all the other bizarreness tonight, I found something new to be afraid of. Evil girlfriends." "Now,Ella. You can't go on being afraid forever." "Oh,yes,I can. As far as Amanda Alstead is concerned, I can." Edward tilted his head and studied me for a moment. He looked annoyed. "Why do you insist on having these conversations with me when you ignore everything I have to say?" It was a pretty good question. "Fine." I sat up straight and folded my hands in my lap. Home Truth time. "Go ahead. On this night when we celebrate the mysteries of life and death..Say something profound, something startling." There was a long silence. Then, "Boo," Edward said. "Thank you,Mr. Willing." "Don't mention it, Miss Marino. I am yours to command.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Only small fish swim in schools. (p. 31) "Don't ever see another human being, lock yourself up and live like a misanthrope." And another power tells me to accept people, talk to them. There is a struggle all the time within me. I also know that if I stay away from people, then I have to deal with only one human being-myself - and I 'd rather have other people than to all the time have only myself for an associate. When you are with yourself your egotism grows, your bitterness and suspicions grow. You become twice as meshuga as before. (p. 32) An assimilated Jew is a man who is ashamed of his origin, who denies his roots. He wants to make believe that he's somebody else. (p. 60) I believe in God but I have my doubts about revelation. I would say that I have no proof whatsoever that God reveals Himself or tells us how to behave, what He wants. I believe that God is a silent God, and He must have a very good reason why He is silent. If He would begin to talk, He would have to speak in three thousand languages and in all kinds of dialects. God speaks in deeds, but the language of deeds is so large its vocabulary is as large as the universe perhaps. So we only understand a very small part of His language. Everything man says about God is pure guesswork. But since I believe in God's existence and since God created man and formed his brain, I believe also that there must be something of the divine in men's ideas about Him even if they are far from being adequate. (p. 93) Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer: Isaac Bashevis Singer and Richard Burgin, 1985
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Why did you come here tonight?” she asked. “Other than the fact that you’ve finally come to your senses and realize you love me.” Chuckling, Grey reached up and untied the ribbons that held her mask. The pretty silk fell away to reveal the beautiful face beneath. “I missed you,” he replied honestly. “And you were right-about everything. I’m tired of drifting through life. I want to live again-with you.” A lone tear trickled down her cheek. “I think that might be the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me.” He grinned. “I have more.” She pressed her fingers to his lips. “I’m tired of talking.” She kissed him, teasing his lips with the ripe curves of hers, sliding her tongue inside to rub against his in a sensual rhythm that had him fisting his hands in her skirts. By the time they reached Mayfair, Grey’s hair was mussed, Rose’s skirts crushed, and he was harder than an oratory competition for mutes. “I can’t believe you came,” she told him as the entered the house, arms wrapped around each other. “I’m so proud of you.” “I wouldn’t have done it without you.” She shook her head. “You did it for yourself not for me.” Perhaps that was true, and perhaps it wasn’t. He had no interest in discussing it tonight. “It’s just the beginning,” he promised. “I’m going to go wherever you want to go from now on. Within reason.” She laughed. “Of course. We can’t have you attending a musicale just to please me, can we?” She gazed up at him. “You know, I think I’m going to want to spend plenty of evenings at home as well. That time I spent out of society had some very soothing moments.” “Of course,” he agreed, thinking about all the things they could do to one another at home. Alone. “There has to be moderation.” Upstairs in their bedroom, he undressed her, unbuttoning each tiny button one by one until she sighed in exasperation. “In a hurry?” he teased. His wife got her revenge, when clad only in her chemise and stockings, she turned those nimble fingers of hers to his cravat, working the knot so slowly he thought he might go mad. She worsened the torment by slowly rubbing her hips against his thigh. His cock was so rigid he could hang clothes on it, and the need to bury himself inside her consumed him. Still, a skilled lover knows when to have patience-and a man in love knows that his woman’s pleasure comes far, far before his own. So, as ready as he was, Grey was in no hurry to let this night end, not when it might prove to be the best of his new-found life. Wearing only his trousers, he took Rose’s hand and led her to their bed. He climbed onto the mattress and pulled her down beside him, lying so that they were face-to-face. Warm fingers came up to gently touch the scar that ran down his face. Odd, but he hadn’t thought of it at all that evening. In fact, he’d almost forgot about it. “I heard you that night,” he admitted. “When you told me you loved me.” Her head tilted. “I thought you were asleep.” “No.” He held her gaze as he raised his own hand to brush the softness of her cheek. “I should have said it then, but I love you too, Rose. So much.” Her smile was smug. “I know.” She kissed him again. “Make love to me.” His entire body pulsed. “I intend to, but there’s one thing I have to do first.” Rose frowned. “What’s that?” Grey pulled the brand-new copy of Voluptuous from beneath the pillow where he’d hidden it before going to the ball. “There’s a story in here that I want to read to you.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Why didn’t they ask two of the guards to go with them?” Milo asked. “A soldier’s not a servant,” I told him. “The most loyal Spartan warrior would be insulted if he was asked to be a weapons bearer, even for a prince. It looks like Castor and Polydeuces will have to take care of themselves.” Milo looked away from me. I was puzzled by this sudden shyness and tried to catch his eye, but he deliberately avoided my gaze. He reeked of guilty secrets. “You’re the one,” I said. “You’re the scrawn--the boy Castor asked to go with him.” His silence was the same as shouting Yes! I knew it. “You just told me you wanted to join the quest for the fleece. You could have done it: Why didn’t you?” “I couldn’t,” he mumbled. “Why not? Because it’s safer to talk about dreams than to try making them real? What are you so afraid of?” “Nothing!” He yelled so fiercely that a pair of oxen grazing in a nearby field snorted and moved farther away from us. It was the first time I ever saw fire in Milo’s eyes. “I’m no coward. That’s not why I wouldn’t go with your brothers. I have to go with you.” “Who said so? You’re free now, Milo. Don’t you know what that means? You can come and go anywhere you like. You ought to appreciate it.” “I appreciate you, Lady Helen!” Once Milo raised his voice, he couldn’t stop. He shouted so loudly that the two oxen trotted to the far side of the pasture as fast as they could move their massive bodies. “You’re the one who gave me my freedom. If I love to be fifty, I’ll never be able to repay you!” Milo’s uproar attracted the attention of the two guards, but I waved them back when I saw them coming toward us. “Do you think you could be grateful quietly?” I asked. “This is between us, not us and all Delphi.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
I push my eye farther into the crack, smushing my cheek. The door rattles. Her arm freezes. The needle stops. Instantly, her shadow fills the room, a mountain on the wall. “Leidah?” I hold my breath. No hiding in the wood-box this time. Before I even have time to pull my eye away, the door opens. My mother's face, like the moon in the dark hallway. She squints and takes a step toward me. “Lei-lee?” I want to tell her I’ve had a nightmare about the Sisters, that I can’t sleep with all this whispering and worrying from her—and what are you sewing in the dark, Mamma? I try to move my lips, but I have no mouth. My tongue is gone; my nose is gone. I don’t have a face anymore. It has happened again. I am lying on my back, flatter than bread. My mother’s bare feet slap against my skin, across my belly, my chest. She digs her heel in, at my throat that isn’t there. I can see her head turning toward her bedroom. Snores crawl under the closed door. The door to my room is open, but she can’t see my bed from where she stands, can’t see that my bed is empty. She nods to herself: everything as it should be. Her foot grinds into my chin. The door to the sewing room closes behind her. I struggle to sit up. I wiggle my hips and jiggle my legs. It is no use. I am stuck, pressed flat into the grain of wood under me. But it’s not under me. It is me. I have become the floor. I know it’s true, even as I tell myself I am dreaming, that I am still in bed under the covers. My blood whirls inside the wood knots, spinning and rushing, sucking me down and down. The nicks of boot prints stomp and kick at my bones, like a bruise. I feel the clunk of one board to the next, like bumps of a wheel over stone. And then I am all of it, every knot, grain, and sliver, running down the hall, whooshing like a river, ever so fast, over the edge and down a waterfall, rushing from room to room. I pour myself under and over and through, feeling objects brush against me as I pass by. Bookshelves, bedposts, Pappa’s slippers, a fallen dressing gown, the stubby ends of an old chair. A mouse hiding inside a hole in the wall. Mor’s needle bobbing up and down. How is this possible? I am so wide, I can see both Mor and Far at the same time, even though they are in different rooms, one wide awake, the other fast asleep. I feel my father’s breath easily, sinking through the bed into me, while Mor’s breath fights against me, against the floor. In and out, each breath swimming away, away, at the speed of her needle, up up up in out in out outoutout—let me out, get me out, I want out. That’s what Mamma is thinking, and I hear it, loud and clear. I strain my ears against the wood to get back into my own body. Nothing happens. I try again, but this time push hard with my arms that aren’t there. Nothing at all. I stop and sink, letting go, giving myself into the floor. Seven, soon to be eight… it’s time, time’s up, time to go. The needle is singing, as sure as stitches on a seam. I am inside the thread, inside her head. Mamma is ticking—onetwothreefourfivesix— Seven. Seven what? And why is it time to go? Don’t leave me, Mamma. I beg her feet, her knees, her hips, her chest, her heart, my begging spreading like a big squid into the very skin of her. It’s then that I feel it. Something is happening to Mamma. Something neither Pappa nor I have noticed. She is becoming dust. She is drier than the wood I have become. - Becoming Leidah Quoted by copying text from the epub version using BlueFire e-reader.
Michelle Grierson (Becoming Leidah)
There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” she remarked, setting the periodical aside for a moment. “And that is?” She tucked her skirts around her legs, denying him further glimpses of her ankles. “Would you by chance know what gamahuching is?” Grey would have thought himself far beyond the age of blushing, but the heat in his cheeks was unmistakable. “Good lord, Rose.” His voice was little more than a rasp. “That is hardly something a young woman brings up in casual conversation.” Oh, but he could show her what gamahuching was. He’d be all too happy to crawl between those trim ankles and climb upward until he found the slit in her drawers… Rose shrugged. “I suppose it might be offensive to someone of your age, but women aren’t as sheltered as they once were, Grey. If you won’t provide a definition, I’m sure Mr. Maxwell will when I see him tonight.” And with that threat tossed out between them, the little baggage returned her attention to her naughty reading. His age? What did she think he was, an ancient? Or was she merely trying to bait him? Tease him? Well, two could play at that game. And he refused to think of Kellan Maxwell, the bastard, educating her on such matters. “I believe you’ve mistaken me if you think I find gamahuching offensive,” he replied smoothly, easing himself down onto the blanket beside her. “I have quite the opposite view.” Beneath the high collar of her day gown, Rose’s throat worked as she swallowed. “Oh?” “Yes.” He braced one hand flat against the blanket near her hip, leaning closer as though they were co-conspirators. “But I’m afraid the notion might seem distasteful to a lady of your inexperience and sheltered upbringing.” Doe eyes narrowed. “If I am not appalled by the practice of frigging, why would anything else done between two adults in the course of making love offend me?” Christ, she had the sexual vocabulary of a whore and the naivete of a virgin. There were so many things that people could do to each other that very well could offend her-hell, some even offended him. As for frigging, that just made him think of his fingers deep inside her wet heat, her own delicate hand around his cock, which of course was rearing its head like an attention-seeking puppy. He forced a casual shrug. Let her think he wasn’t the least bit affected by the conversation. Hopefully she wouldn’t look at his crotch. “Gamahuching is the act of giving pleasure to a woman with one’s mouth and tongue.” Finally his beautiful innocent seductress blushed. She glanced down at the magazine in her hands, obviously reimagining some of what she had read. “Oh.” Then, her gaze came back to his. “Thank you.” Thank God she hadn’t asked if it was pleasurable because Grey wasn’t sure his control could have withstood that. Still, glutton for punishment that he was, he held her gaze. “Anything else you would like to ask me?” Rose shifted on the blanket. Embarrassed or aroused? “No, I think that’s all I wanted to know.” “Be careful, Rose,” he advised as he slowly rose to his feet once more. He had to keep his hands in front of him to disguise the hardness in his trousers. Damn thing didn’t show any sign of standing down either. “Such reading may lead to further curiosity, which can lead to rash behavior. I would hate to see you compromise yourself, or give your affection to the wrong man.” She met his gaze evenly, with a strange light in her eyes that unsettled him. “Have you stopped to consider Grey, that I may have done that already?” And since that remark rendered him so completely speechless, he turned on his heel and walked away.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong And lonesome comes up as down goes the day And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin' And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin' And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin' And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin' And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin' And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin' And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm And to yourself you sometimes say "I never knew it was gonna be this way Why didn't they tell me the day I was born" And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin' And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet And you need it badly but it lays on the street And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat And you think yer ears might a been hurt Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush And all the time you were holdin' three queens And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean Like in the middle of Life magazine Bouncin' around a pinball machine And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying That somebody someplace oughta be hearin' But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed And no matter how you try you just can't say it And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth And his jaws start closin with you underneath And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign And you say to yourself just what am I doin' On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin' On this curve I'm hanging On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking In this air I'm inhaling Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard Why am I walking, where am I running What am I saying, what am I knowing On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin' On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin' In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin' In the words that I'm thinkin' In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin' Who am I helping, what am I breaking What am I giving, what am I taking But you try with your whole soul best Never to think these thoughts and never to let Them kind of thoughts gain ground Or make yer heart pound ...
Bob Dylan
Leave . . . town? Really, Mr. Skukman, that might be taking matters a bit far. Why, the social season has just begun, and ticket sales have been quite brisk. Besides that, everyone knows that Mr. Grimstone, that oh-so-mysterious playwright of The Lady in the Tower, specifically requested that I play the part of the lead heroine. He’s certainly not going to be pleased if I abandon the role before the season gets into full swing. Why, he, as well as the theater, could suffer extensive losses.” “Losses or not, Mr. Grimstone will have no say in this, Miss Plum. Quite honestly, given his obvious esteem for you and your acting abilities, I have to imagine he’d prefer to find out you’ve gone missing over finding out you’ve stopped breathing.” “Silas doesn’t want to kill me, Mr. Skukman. He wants to acquire me.” “You and I both know you’d never allow him to acquire you, and from what I just saw down in the lobby, the man seems to be on the verge of losing his sanity. There’s a look in his eyes I don’t care for at all, which is why we’re going to get you into a hansom cab and on your way to Mrs. Hart’s brownstone. Once you’re there, I need you to pack as quickly as possible. I’ll be around to fetch you just as soon as I’m able.” “You want me to hire a cab instead of traveling to Abigail’s in my own carriage?” “Indeed. It’s not a complete secret that you now live with Mrs. Hart, which means it won’t be too difficult for Silas to discover your direction after he learns you no longer reside in the Lower East Side. I’m going to try and feed him a false trail that will hopefully allow us precious time to get away.” Before Lucetta had an opportunity to voice another protest, she found herself sitting in a musty smelling hansom cab, barreling down Broadway at a high rate of speed, the speed brought about from the extra money she’d seen Mr. Skukman hand the driver. Feeling
Jen Turano (Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own, #3))
We keep on striving and we keep on fighting. We think we have only two choices: rebellion or religion? We think we are confined to only two options. However, Jesus came to show us that there is another way. Father God is so in love with mankind that He gave His only begotten Son to show us the right way and to die in our place. The Father is more than willing to bring us back to our rightful place, to live in His Presence. He proved His commitment by bringing His only Son to the altar of sacrifice. He told Abraham to hold back the dagger, but Father did not withhold His Son. He allowed the world to defile and crucify His precious Son. Even though His Son cried out, “Why have you forsaken me?” Father refused to answer because He knew it was the only way we could be restored to Him. Father God is waiting outside His home, and He is on the lookout for His prodigal and religious sons and daughters. He is waiting for both the prodigal and religious children who continue to strive far away from His Presence. The table is set and the entire house has been prepared for your homecoming. The only thing missing is you. Start the long journey home. Father is waiting for you. Reflection Invite the presence of your Father and ask Him to go deep into your spirit and just let Him love on you for a while. Activation Father, show me if there is any way in which I live or behave as if I have no home. Father, are there any areas in my life where I protect myself from rejection? There is no fear in love and perfect love casts out fear. So, Father, show me any place in my life where fear is stronger than love. Declaration Father, I know you did not give me a spirit of fear or shame! You fashioned me from your likeness and made me YOUR son! You are my Father! I know you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. I trust you completely! Remove my fears and replace them with your perfect love!
Leif Hetland (Healing the Orphan Spirit)
You need to forgive me. Now that really blew her away. Forgive God? This idea is going to cause some readers to freak out. Just listen for a moment. If you are holding something in your heart against Jesus—the loss of someone you love, a painful memory from your past, simply the way your life has turned out—if you are holding that against Jesus, well, then, it is between you and Jesus. And no amount of ignoring it or being faithful in other areas of your life is going to make it go away. In order to move forward, you are going to need to forgive Jesus for whatever these things are. “But Jesus doesn’t need our forgiveness!” you protest. I didn’t say he did. I said that you need to forgive Jesus—you need it. Let me be clear: To forgive a person, we pardon a wrong done to us; “Forgiving” Jesus means to release the hurt and resentment we hold against him. This comes before understanding. We don’t often know why things have happened the way they have in our lives. What we do know is that we were hurt, and part of that hurt is toward Jesus, because in our hearts we believe he let it happen. Again, this is not the time for sifting theological nuances, but this is why it is so important for you to look at the world the way Jesus did—as a vicious battle with evil. When you understand you have an enemy that has hated your guts ever since you were a child, it will help you not to blame this stuff on God. Anyhow, the facts are it happened, we are hurt that it happened, and part of us believes Jesus should have done something about it and didn’t. That is why we need to “forgive” him. We do so in order that this part of us can draw near him again, and receive his love. Perhaps part of the fruit of that restoration will be that Jesus will then be able to explain to us why things happened the way they did. This is often the case. But whether we receive this or not, we know we need Jesus far more than we need understanding. And so we forgive—meaning, we release the offense we feel towards him.
John Eldredge (Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus)
Owen couldn’t believe his luck. Candice Mayfair was the beautiful white wolf he’d seen that day so long ago. Not that she looked like a wolf right now. He only knew she was the wolf, unequivocally, because he recognized her scent. After the initial shock of seeing an unfamiliar and intriguing Arctic she-wolf, he’d gone after her. The whole pack had gone on a run that night, but they knew to stay far away from any campsite. He and the other guys had swum across the river to explore a bit. Cameron and his mate had stayed on the other side with the kids. He’d even swum back across the river to find her and discovered her scent had led right to one of the tents. Since she had moved into the tent, he knew she had to be one of their shifter kind. He’d even hung around the next day, waiting to catch a glimpse of her, but there were several women, and he had no idea which one had been her. Two blonds, a couple of brunettes, and a red-haired woman—none of whom looked like the picture he had of Clara Hart, though. Being a white wolf in summer had made it difficult to blend in, so he’d had to keep well out of sight. Candice Mayfair was definitely the author of the books on the website, though she didn’t look like the photo her uncle had of her, if she was Clara Hart. She had the same compelling eyes, different color, but they got his attention, grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let go. He carried her to her couch and set her down, staying close, his hand still on her arm until she seemed to regain her equilibrium. “The wolf pup was yours,” she accused, jerking her arm away from him. “Wolf pup?” “Yeah, wolf pup. Don’t pretend you don’t know about your own wolf pup.” Then all the pieces began to fall into place. Campers. Campfire. Food. Corey, the wolf pup she had to be referring to, hadn’t just found the food like they’d thought. Candice must not have been a wolf until that night. “You fed him? Corey? His mom wondered why he smelled of beef jerky that night. We thought he’d found some at the campsite. Don’t tell me…he bit you.
Terry Spear (Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #23; White Wolf #2))
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Your Peter
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
I’m really not in the mood for your bullshit, Patrick. Go, before Ryder sees your car in the driveway or something.” “Oh, you expectin’ Ryder?” he slurs. “He gonna ride in on his white horse like a knight and save you? Is that what your hopin’ for? Maybe that’s why you been holdin’ out on me. You wanna give it to him instead.” His eyes are glassy, slightly unfocused. It’s obvious I can’t let him drive home like this. Shit. Ignoring his drunken little tirade, I reach for his hand and drag him into the living room, pushing him toward the velvet sofa. “C’mon, Patrick, you need to lie down. I’m going to call someone to come pick you up.” His legs buckle the minute they hit the cushions, and he crumples into a heap--half on the floor, half on the sofa. He starts to make a retching noise, and I hurriedly slip off my hoodie and shove it under his face. “I swear, if you puke on my sofa, I’m going to freaking kill you.” Mercifully, he doesn’t. Instead, he starts making a quiet, snuffling noise. Like he’s passed out cold. I run upstairs and grab my cell from my bedroom, trying to decide who to call. Obviously, Ryder makes the most sense, since he lives just up the road and can be here in a matter of minutes. But what if he mentions it to his mom? I mean, I can tell him not to, but then it makes me look guilty, like I’m trying to hide something. It’s not my fault that Patrick showed up on my doorstep unannounced. I run through the other options in my head. Calling Ben or Mason is about the same as calling Ryder. They’re his best friends. They talk. I could try Tanner. He is my cousin, so I could invoke some sort of family loyalty oath of silence or something. Only problem is, Tanner lives on the far side of town--about as far away from here as anyone can be and still live in Magnolia Branch. Which means leaving a passed-out, about-to-puke Patrick on my couch for a good twenty minutes, waiting for a ride. Nope. Not gonna happen. With a sigh of resignation, I dial Ryder’s number. Exactly seven minutes later, he knocks on the door. Ryder to the rescue. I resist the urge to look around for his white horse.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Snake,” Wyatt announced. “A big black one.” “There’s dozens of them,” Royce explained. “Where?” Alric asked. “Mostly behind you on the walls.” “What?” the king said, aghast. “Why didn’t you say something?” “Knowing would only make traveling slower.” “Are they poisonous?” Mauvin asked. They could all see the silhouetted shoulders of Royce’s shadow on the far wall shrug. “I demand you inform me of such things in future!” Alric declared. “Do you want to know about the giant millipedes, then too?” “Are you joking?” “Royce doesn’t make jokes,” Arista told him as she looked around, anxiously hugging herself. Immediately her robe brightened and she spotted two snakes on the walls, but they were a safe distance away. “He must be joking,” Alric muttered quietly. “I don’t see any.” “You aren’t looking up,” the thief said. Arista did not want to. Some instinct, a tiny voice, warned her to fight the impulse, but in the end she just could not help herself. On the low ceiling, illuminated brightly by the robe, slithered a mass of wormlike bugs with an uncountable number of hairlike feet. Each was nearly five inches in length and close to the width of a man’s finger. There were so many that they swarmed over each other until it was hard to tell if the ceiling was rock at all. Arista felt a chill run down her back. She clenched her teeth, forced her eyes to the floor, and focused on walking forward as quickly as possible. She promptly passed Alric and Mauvin, both moving quicker than normal. She reached Royce, who stood outside the corridor on a boulder at the entrance to a larger passage. “I guess I was wrong. Looks like I should have told you earlier,” Royce said, watching them race forward. “Are there…?” she asked, pointing upward without looking. Royce glanced up and shook his head. “Good,” she replied. “And please, if Alric wants to know these things, fine, but don’t tell me. I could have gone the rest of my life not knowing they were there.” She shivered. Everyone scurried out of the corridor except Myron, who lingered, staring up at the ceiling and smiling in fascination. “There are millions.
Michael J. Sullivan (Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6))
Perhaps we could practice together at Marsbury House sometime,” he said. “I would enjoy that.” She ignored the niggle that said encouraging the duke’s suit was wrong when she wasn’t sure she wanted to marry him. “Yes, Lady Celia always enjoys showing a man how to use his gun,” Mr. Pinter put in. “You couldn’t ask for a better tutor, Your Grace.” When the duke stiffened understandably, she glared at Mr. Pinter. “His Grace needs no tutoring. He shoots quite well. And manages to remain civil at the same time, which is more than I can say for you, sir.” Why was Mr. Pinter being so difficult? Bad enough that he’d goaded her into this competition-must he also make her suitors resent her? So far they’d taken her participation in this competition in stride, but if he kept provoking them… Mr. Pinter scowled as they all halted to reload. “Civility is for you aristocrats.” His voice was sullen. “We mere mortals have no sense of it.” “Then it’s a miracle anyone ever hires you to do anything,” she retorted. “Civility is the bedrock of a polite society, no matter what a man’s station.” “I thought money was the bedrock,” eh countered. “Why else does your grandmother’s ultimatum have all of you dashing about trying to find spouses?” It was a nasty thing to say and he knew it, for he cast her a belligerent look as soon as the words left her mouth. “I don’t know why you should complain about that,” she said archly. “Our predicament has afforded you quite a good chance to plump your own pockets.” “Celia,” Oliver said in a low voice, “sheathe your claws.” “Why? He’s being rude.” The beater’s flushed the grouse. Mr. Pinter brought down another bird, a muscle ticking in his jaw as they all fired. “I beg your pardon, my lady. Sometimes my tongue runs away with my good sense.” “I’ve noticed.” She caught the gentlemen watching them with interest and forced a smile. “But since you were good enough to apologize, let us forget the matter, shall we?” With a taut nod, he acknowledged her request for a truce. After that, they both concentrated on shooting. She was determined to beat him, and he seemed equally determined to beat the other gentlemen. She tried not to dwell on why, but the possibility of another kiss from him made her nervous and excited.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
It is raining.  The clock ticks.  I am leaning on my elbow.  The wind blows through the cracks.  The door rattles in its frame.  My arm is tired of staying in one position.  There is a pressure on the wrist.  My temple burns on one side.  I wonder what will happen next.  Someone laughs.  If he had heard the rain, the clock, and the door, he would have kept silent.  Had I been laughing, I would not have heard these things. Gaze into a cat's eye or a gorilla's.  You will notice a peculiar thing that will make you shudder.  sometimes cats claw at human eyes.  Some- times gorillas enrage. Telepathy and death are wound inextricably together.  To see why this is so, you must understand consciousness.  When, late at night in your bed, you hear a distant automobile, you and the driver are parts of yourself.  When you speak, you are alone and the listener is both you and himself.  Two men, one on the mountain and the other in the village, cannot communicate.  Each is looking into a mirror.  Wave, and *he* waves - shout, and *he* replies.  All of us see the same moon and feel the same heartbeat, but we can never admit it.  One says the moon is a pale disc, another that it is a satellite of the Earth, a third that it is a silver world.  My heart thumps, yours clatters, and his booms.  Consciousness is distortion. But much telepathy passes unnoticed.  Dogs in the night, a dream of Mabel, Dr. Rhines' dice games - these are self-conscious tricks that mean nothing.  What of the more obvious examples?  You know when another is lying.  You know who is going down the stair.  You know emotion without seeing it.  You know the intelligence of others.  Some sign gives them away.  It is coincidence?  Guessing games again?   Then think of what you could not possibly know, what no one could tell you.  Is there any doubt you do not know that fellow on the gibbet or the thought of that girl on the stake?  Watch someone die and you may read his mind at ease. You need not got so far.  We human beings understand one another better than we think.  Argue, deny, shout, denounce, destroy.  Nothing alters truth.  You, reader, see my flaws and concentrate on them.  You wonder why I choose this word and not that. My arguments are weak and you can drum up stronger ones against them.  But we are eye to eye for all of that.
E.E. Rehmus
THE GREAT GULON INCIDENT: [JUST GONNA LEAVE THIS ONE WITH: REDACTED] [NOT THAT I HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS!] THE VACKER CONNECTION: [UH, FITZY’S MY BEST FRIEND—NOT A “CONNECTION.” AND ALDEN AND DELLA ARE WAY NICER TO ME THAN MY OWN PARENTS ARE. BIANA’S SUPER AWESOME TOO. ALVAR… NOT SO MUCH. I PROBABLY SHOULD’VE SEEN THAT ONE COMING. BUT WHATEVER, MY POINT IS: I DIDN’T TRY TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE VACKERS—NO MATTER WHAT WEIRD STUFF WAS IN ONE OF MY ERASED MEMORIES. SO DON’T GO THINKING THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN THAT.] [AND HOW DO YOU GUYS EVEN KNOW ABOUT THAT MEMORY? THAT KINDA MAKES ME WANT TO RIP THIS REGISTRY PENDANT OFF MY NECK AND THROW IT FAR, FAR AWAY!] INSTANT RIVALRY: [YOU THINK BANGS BOY AND ME ARE “RIVALS”? HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU, BUT NOPE! I MEAN, YEAH, HE’S SUPER ANNOYING WITH ALL THE “LOOK AT ME, I’M A MOODY SHADE” NONSENSE—AND HIS HAIR IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. BUT THERE’S NO RIVALRY. JUST DON’T EXPECT US TO BE BESTIES, AND WE’LL BE GOOD.] UNWITTING ERRAND BOY: [OKAY, THAT SUBHEADING MAKES ME WANT TO PUNCH WHOEVER WROTE IT IN THE MOUTH. BUT… I GUESS IT’S ALSO KIND OF TRUE. MY MOM DID HAVE ME DO STUFF AND THEN ERASE MY MEMORIES SO I WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT. MOM OF THE YEAR, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. TRY NOT TO BE JEALOUS.] [AND I’M WORKING ON GETTING THOSE MEMORIES BACK, BY THE WAY. I’VE BEEN FILLING JOURNALS WITH DRAWINGS AND EVERYTHING. IT’S JUST TAKING A WHILE BECAUSE I’VE BEEN A LITTLE BUSY ALMOST DYING AND STUFF.] TEAM FOSTER-KEEFE: [WOO-HOO, TEAM FOSTER-KEEFE IS OFFICIALLY A THING!] [BUT THE REST OF THE STUFF IN THIS SECTION IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GETTING REDACTED. SERIOUSLY—BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE! FOSTER’S AMAZING—AND OBVIOUSLY WORKING WITH ME MAKES HER EVEN MORE AMAZING. BUT YOU GUYS NEED TO STOP WITH ALL OF YOUR WEIRDO SPECULATING.] ONE PART OF A TRIANGLE: [OKAY, THAT’S IT. I’M DEEEEEEEEEEFINITELY DITCHING THIS PENDANT THING. WHY IS THE COUNCIL PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS STUFF???????????] [ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW WHAT? IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, BUT I’M GOING TO ADD ONE THING: FOSTER GETS TO DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS, OKAY? SHE CAN LIKE WHOEVER SHE WANTS. OR BE CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT SHE’S FEELING. SHE CAN EVEN BE OBLIVIOUS—IT’S HER LIFE. HER CHOICE. AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF IT.] [EVEN ME.] [ESPECIALLY ME. I WOULD NEVER WANT TO…] [NEVER MIND. MY POINT IS, LET THE POOR GIRL FIGURE THIS OUT ON HER OWN. AND SERIOUSLY, STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES!!!!]
Shannon Messenger (Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8.5))
If you know so much,then tell me of Lily or are you too swayed by her beauty?" "Aye,she's beautiful, but also complicated and young.She is an....an opportunist,but not necessarily a selfish one." "Ha.She can be. Lily's world revolves only around her." Tyr chuckled and the sound sent ripples of awareness down her arms. "I'd rather talk about you, Lady Edythe." "I'd rather not." "Lady Edythe," Tyr repeated, drawing out her name. His forehead wrinkled. "No. Don't like it. A girl like you needs a nickname." She hadn't been a "girl" for several years,and Edythe was irked that he saw her as such. "That's one thing I'll never want." "That's a shame.Everyone should have a nickname." "Really,then what's yours?" Tyr licked his lips and in a low voice, lied, "Bachelor." "Fitting," Edythe retorted. "I doubt with your type of self-serving charm, too many women vie to change that status." Tyr clucked his tongue, completely unfazed by her ridiculous barb. "Ed,I think.Little and sweet...just like you." "Thoin," Edythe hissed and moved to walk away,not dreaming for a second that he would know Gaelic and understand what she meant. "Bauchle," Tyr chirped back in retaliation. Edythe spun around, her jaw open, but before she could retort, he added, this time with a Scottish brogue, "Ed,even if I didn't know my own language, certain words are known far and wide, and "ass" is certainly one of them." Straightening, she puffed out her chest and poked him in the ribs. "I may be many things,but untidy, fat, and your wife isn't one of them." Tyr gulped.It had been a long time since he'd spoken his native tongue to a woman who knew Gaelic and he plucked the wrong insult from memory.He had just remembered it being about a woman and knew it wasn't flattering. "You're right. My apologies.But you,my pretty lady, are in desperate need of a nickname. How about one that is more fitting?" "I don't want a nickname," she gritted out. And certainly not one from you, she hissed to herself. Why did he have to call her pretty? And why did she care? "Well,Ruadh,you got one." "Red? Lord,you are the most unimaginative-" "Hmm,when you put it that way...Red...Ed. Quite memorable and easy to say.I like it!" "You would.That nickname-if you can call it that-wouldn't suit a kitchen rat." Tyr shook his head. "I disagree,and just remember that it was you and not I who compared yourself to such a repulsive creature.I would have said...a finch.Yes...small,loud and with a sharp beak.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
A man surrounded by genetic damage cannot help but mimic it with his own behavior,” Zoe says. “Matthew, David wants to set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss one of the serum developments. Last time Alan completely forgot about it, so I was wondering if you could escort him.” “Sure,” Matthew says without looking away from his computer. “I’ll get him to give me a time.” “Lovely. Well, I have to go--I hope that answered your question, Tris.” She smiles at me and slips out the door. I sit hunched, with my elbows on my knees. Marcus was Divergent--genetically pure, just like me. But I don’t accept that he was a bad person because he was surrounded by genetically damaged people. So was I. So was Uriah. So was my mother. But none of us lashed out at our loved ones. “Her argument has a few holes in it, doesn’t it,” says Matthew. He’s watching me from behind his desk, tapping his fingers on the arm of his chair. “Yeah,” I say. “Some of the people here want to blame genetic damage for everything,” he says. “It’s easier for them to accept than the truth, which is that they can’t know everything about people and why they act the way they do.” “Everyone has to blame something for the way the world is,” I say. “For my father it was the Erudite.” “I probably shouldn’t tell you that the Erudite were always my favorite, then,” Matthew says, smiling a little. “Really?” I straighten. “Why?” “I don’t know, I guess I agree with them. That if everyone would just keep learning about the world around them, they would have far fewer problems.” “I’ve been wary of them my whole life,” I say, resting my chin on my hand. “My father hated the Erudite, so I learned to hate them too, and everything they did with their time. Only now I’m thinking he was wrong. Or just…biased.” “About the Erudite or about learning?” I shrug. “Both. So many of the Erudite helped me when I didn’t ask them to.” Will, Fernando, Cara--all Erudite, all some of the best people I’ve known, however briefly. “They were so focused on making the world a better place.” I shake my head. “What Jeanine did has nothing to do with a thirst for knowledge leading to a thirst for power, like my father told me, and everything to do with her being terrified of how big the world is and how powerless that made her. Maybe it was the Dauntless who had it right.” “There’s an old phrase,” Matthew says. “Knowledge is power. Power to do evil, like Jeanine…or power to do good, like what we’re doing. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Shrugging, I glanced at Judd who was watching someone in the corner. When I looked back at Cooper, he was studying the hair in my eyes. “You look tired,” he said, reaching out to brush away the hair. Cooper’s hand never reached my face before Judd grabbed his wrist and yanked it away. In that instant, everything shifted. The men stepped closer, eyeballing each other as the heat of their anger became palatable. I thought to step between them and calm things before violence broke out. Then, I remembered when I tried to break up a fight between my uncle’s dogs. If Farah hadn’t pulled me out of the way, I’d have been mauled. That day, I learned if predators wanted to fight, you let them while staying as far back as possible. “I’ll let this go because it’s your woman,” Cooper muttered, dark eyes still angry. “If you pull this shit again and it’s not your woman, you and I will have a problem.” Once Cooper walked away, Judd finally relaxed. I just stared at him as he led me to a booth because a group of old timers were at his table. Sitting next to him, I caressed his face, soothing him. He finally gave me a little grin. Suddenly, Vaughn appeared and took the spot across from us. “Why do you look so pissed off?” “He almost went feral on Cooper for trying to touch me.” Vaughn gave us a lazy grin. “So losing his balls makes a man stupid, eh? Good to know. Just another reason to keep mine attached.” Judd exhaled hard. “You wouldn’t want anyone touching your woman. One day, you’ll know that despite your love affair with your balls.” “A man should love his balls,” Vaughn said, still grinning. “What if I touch her?” he asked, his hand moving slowly towards my face. “I’ll stab you in the fucking eye.” Grinning, Vaughn put down his hand. “You’re pretty damn sexy when you go drama queen, O’Keefe.” “He is, isn’t he?” I said, sliding closer to Judd. “I wish we were naked right now.” Both men frowned at me, but I only smiled and Judd adjusted in the booth as his jeans grew too tight. “Stop,” he warned. “I’m not afraid of you.” “I could make a liar of you.” “You won’t though because you wish you were inside me.” Judd exhaled hard like a pissed bull and adjusted in the booth again. I just laughed and rested my head against his shoulder. “I so own you.” Vaughn nodded. “He’s a keeper. I remember how poetic he was when I asked him if he could imagine himself as an old man. He turned to me and grunted. Real profound grunt too. Oh, and once I asked if he ever imagined himself as a father. I kid you not, he burped. The man is fucking Shakespeare.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
She thought she was getting out of the Water Rising clean, because she didn’t see her father anywhere around: there was only Ash and Lillian sitting at a table, and a few other patrons at as much of a distance from Ash and Lillian as they could get. She made for the door, at which point Lillian caught her arm. “Where are you going?” “Uh,” said Kami, eyeballing her wildly. “I’m going to buy some drugs.” Lillian stared. “I beg your pardon?” “This is a really stressful time for everyone,” said Kami. “So I thought maybe I could buy a little weed, take the edge off. I might be a while. This is a very clean-living town, apart from all the murders, so I don’t actually know any drug dealers. I realize Jared kind of looks like one, but he’s not, which is a shame because I think the drug dealer’s girlfriend gets her drugs free.” “I realize you are attempting to be humorous,” said Lillian, after a pause during which she stared some more. “I don’t understand it.” “Hey, you’re not the only family with a legacy. ‘Glass’ rhymes with ‘sass.’ Have you met my dad?” “I have had that dubious pleasure,” said Lillian. “He is, in fact, meant to be meeting me in order to, and I quote, ‘teach me to integrate better with society, display leadership skills, win over the populace, and stop acting like a robot princess from space.’ I admit that the humor in his humor escapes me as well.” She paused and suddenly looked determined. “I’m going to start without him.” She climbed off the stool and headed toward the group of people in the corner. Kami and Ash watched as they collectively shrank away. “Come on, quick,” said Kami, and as if summoned by some spirit warning him of his child’s intended reckless behavior, her dad appeared through the inn doors. He looked distracted. “Where’s Lillian?’ Kami checked over her shoulder. “Appears to be trying to wrest a screaming baby from the arms of her frightened mother in order to kiss it.” “Oh no no no,” murmured Jon, and raised his voice as he made his way over. “Libba, we’ve talked about this!” “The good news is the grown-ups are distracted by politics,” said Kami. You mean that your poor father is distracted by my awful mother, said Ash, who was far too polite to say such a thing out loud and looked vaguely embarrassed to be thinking it. Kami grinned. “Why quibble when we have the results we want!” I wish I could ask you what you’re planning, but I know what you’re planning, said Ash. Lucky me. I know this is important information, but going to Aurimere at all is a huge risk. “See, the thing is, if I ran a business it would probably be called Risky Business,
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3))
In a Harvard Business Review article titled “Do Women Lack Ambition?” Anna Fels, a psychiatrist at Cornell University, observes that when the dozens of successful women she interviewed told their own stories, “they refused to claim a central, purposeful place.” Were Dr. Fels to interview you, how would you tell your story? Are you using language that suggests you’re the supporting actress in your own life? For instance, when someone offers words of appreciation about a dinner you’ve prepared, a class you’ve taught, or an event you organized and brilliantly executed, do you gracefully reply “Thank you” or do you say, “It was nothing”? As Fels tried to understand why women refuse to be the heroes of their own stories, she encountered the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, which confirms that society considers a woman to be feminine only within the context of a relationship and when she is giving something to someone. It’s no wonder that a “feminine” woman finds it difficult to get in the game and demand support to pursue her goals. It also explains why she feels selfish when she doesn’t subordinate her needs to others. A successful female CEO recently needed my help. It was mostly business-related but also partly for her. As she started to ask for my assistance, I sensed how difficult it was for her. Advocate on her organization’s behalf? Piece of cake. That’s one of the reasons her business has been successful. But advocate on her own behalf? I’ll confess that even among my closest friends I find it painful to say, “Look what I did,” and so I don’t do it very often. If you want to see just how masterful most women have become at deflecting, the next time you’re with a group of girlfriends, ask them about something they (not their husband or children) have done well in the past year. Chances are good that each woman will quickly and deftly redirect the conversation far, far away from herself. “A key type of discrimination that women face is the expectation that feminine women will forfeit opportunities for recognition,” says Fels. “When women do speak as much as men in a work situation or compete for high-visibility positions, their femininity is assailed.” My point here isn’t to say that relatedness and nurturing and picking up our pom-poms to cheer others on is unimportant. Those qualities are often innate to women. If we set these “feminine” qualities aside or neglect them, we will have lost an irreplaceable piece of ourselves. But to truly grow up, we must learn to throw down our pom-poms, believing we can act and that what we have to offer is a valuable part of who we are. When we recognize this, we give ourselves permission to dream and to encourage the girls and women
Whitney Johnson (Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream)
It’s no wonder your grandmother despairs of you. God only knows what a trial you are to your poor parents.” The humor vanished abruptly from his face. “Sadly, my parents are too dead to be overly concerned about my behavior.” His words were flip, but the sudden glint of grief in his eyes told another tale. “Please forgive me,” she said hastily, cursing her quick tongue. “It’s awful to lose your parents. I know that better than anyone.” “No need for apologies.” He pushed away from the door. “They despaired of me long before they died, so you weren’t far off the mark.” “Still, it was very wrong of me to-“ “Come now, Miss Butterfield, this has naught to do with my proposal. Will you pretend to be my fiancée or not?” When she hesitated, he went on with a hint of anger, “I don’t see why you make such a fuss over it. It’s not as if I’m asking you to do anything wicked.” That ridiculous remark banished her brief moment of sympathy. “You’re asking me to lie! To deceive a woman for the sake of your purpose, whatever that is. It goes against every moral principle-“ “And threatening to stab a man does not?” He cast her a thin smile. “Think of it as playing a role, like an actress. You and your cousin will be guests at my estate for a week or two, entirely at your leisure.” A dark gleam shone in his eyes. “I can even set up an effigy of myself for you to stab at will.” “That does sound tempting,” she shot back. “As for Freddy there, he can ride and hunt and play cards with my brothers. It’s better entertainment than he’d find in the gaol.” “As long as you feed me, sir,” Freddy said, “I’ll follow you anywhere.” “Freddy!” Maria cried. “What? That blasted inn where we’re staying is flea-ridden and cold as a witch’s tit. Plus, you keep such tight hold on my purse strings that I’m famished all the time. What’s wrong with helping this fellow if it means we finally sleep in decent beds? And it’s not a big thing, your pretending to be betrothed to him.” “I’m already betrothed, thank you very much,” she shot back. “And what about Nathan? While we’re off deceiving this man’s poor grandmother, Nathan might be hurt or in trouble. You expect me just to give up searching for him so you can get a decent meal?” “And keep from being hanged,” Freddy pointed out. “Let’s not forget that.” “Ah, the missing fiancé,” Lord Stoneville said coldly. “I did wonder when you would bring him back into it.” She glowered at him. “I never let him out of it. he’s the reason I’m here.” “So you say.” That inflamed her temper. “Now see here, you insufferable, arrogant-“ “Fine. If you insist on clinging to your wild story, how about this: while you pretend to be my fiancée, I’ll hire someone to look for fiancé. A simple trade of services.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
A dark-haired young woman was waiting in the atrium by the fountain. When she saw Arin, her face filled with light and tears. He almost ran across the short space between them to gather her in his arms. “Sister or lover?” Kestrel said. The woman looked up from their embrace. Her expression hardened. She stepped away from Arin. “What?” “Are you his sister or lover?” She walked up to Kestrel and slapped her across the face. “Sarsine!” Arin hauled her back. “His sister is dead,” Sarsine said, “and I hope you suffer as much as she did.” Kestrel’s fingers went to her cheek to press against the sting--and cover a smile with the heels of her tied hands. She remembered the bruises on Arin when she had bought him. His surly defiance. She had always wondered why slaves brought punishment upon themselves. But it had been sweet to feel a tipping of power, however slight, when that hand had cracked across her face. To know, despite the pain, that for a moment Kestrel had been the one in control. “Sarsine is my cousin,” Arin said. “I haven’t seen her in years. After the war, she was sold as a house slave. I was a laborer, so--” “I don’t care,” Kestrel said. His shadowed eyes met hers. They were the color of the winter sea--the water far below Kestrel’s feet when she had looked down and imagined what it would be like to drown. He broke the gaze between them. To his cousin he said, “I need you to be her keeper. Escort her to the east wing, let her have the run of the suite--” “Arin! Have you lost your mind?” “Remove anything that could be a weapon. Keep the outermost door locked at all times. See that she wants for nothing, but remember that she is a prisoner.” “In the east wing.” Sarsine’s voice was thick with disgust. “She’s the general’s daughter.” “Oh, I know.” “A political prisoner,” Arin said. “We must be better than the Valorians. We are more than savages.” “Do you truly think that keeping your clipped bird in a luxurious cage will change how the Valorians see us?” “It will change how we see ourselves.” “No, Arin. It will change how everyone sees you.” He shook his head. “She’s mine to do with as I see fit.” There was an uneasy rustle among the Herrani. Kestrel’s heart sickened. She kept trying to forget this: the question of what it meant to belong to Arin. He reached for her, pulling her firmly toward him as her boots dragged and squeaked against the tiles. With the flick of a knife, he cut the bonds at her wrists, and the sound of leather hitting the floor was loud in the atrium’s acoustics--almost as loud as Sarsine’s choked protest. Arin let Kestrel go. “Please, Sarsine. Take her.” His cousin stared at him. Eventually, she nodded, but her expression made clear that she thought he was indulging in something disastrous.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Don’t look so grim. When you get home, I’m sure Randall will buy you all the rings you want. One for every day of the week,” Oscar said, thick with sarcasm, as they walked back toward the harbor. “I don’t care about the ring!” Camille shouted. She stopped walking and turned to Oscar. “I’m sorry, it’s just that…” Oscar patiently waited for her to finish her sentence. Camille looked away, embarrassed. She had scraped Randall’s skin with the ring, too. It had been one of their rare moments alone. He’d run his fingers down her back, nibbled on her neck, and she’d waited for her legs to turn to warm butter. She’d waited to feel the desire to kiss him. But the feelings hadn’t come. Camille had swept her hand up to stop him, and the ring had left a puffy red scratch on his arm. Oscar watched her fumble for words, his expression one of concern. “Never mind,” she said quickly and stepped up onto a raised sidewalk, out of the mud. “Never mind what?” “It’s private.” He continued walking in the street, his head level with hers. “Private between who?” “Between me and Randall. You wouldn’t understand,” she said and lifted her skirt as she descended back down into the muddy street where the sidewalk ran out. “And why is that?” he asked, sounding put off. Daphne’s place came into view. The air smelled of bitter salt water and of wood smoke curling up from the kitchen chimney. “Oh, Oscar, you’re a man of the sea. What could you possibly know about relationships?” He’d never courted a woman as far as Camille knew. She slowed her pace. Or had he? Oscar stopped in the middle of the cobblestoned walkway leading to Daphne’s front door. His eyes blazed with hurt and resentment. “I do apologize, Miss Rowen, I forgot mere sailors aren’t worthy of marriage. Isn’t that what your father always said?” Camille’s cheeks seared with heat. It was a stance her father had never parted from, but she hadn’t known he’d also impressed it upon Oscar. She fidgeted with her hands and fumbled for an apology. “No, that’s not what I meant. You’re a bachelor, that’s all.” Oscar shook his head, unable to meet her eyes. She’d sounded so patronizing. Oscar was handsome, young, and single, and for a man of his class, he made a decent living. Enough to attract an equally decent amount of attention from women, she supposed. Why hadn’t she ever thought of that? He retreated to the street. “I’m going for a walk.” “Oscar, wait-“ He pivoted on his heel. “You know, you’re wrong, Camille. And your father was wrong, too.” Oscar turned and disappeared behind the boxwood hedges. Camille clenched two fistfuls of her skirt and stomped up the steps, aggravated over her careless words. She’d been pompous and arrogant, and she hated that she’d hurt him. She cringed at the wounded way he’d looked at her.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
What are you so afraid of?” “Nothing!” He yelled so fiercely that a pair of oxen grazing in a nearby field snorted and moved farther away from us. It was the first time I ever saw fire in Milo’s eyes. “I’m no coward. That’s not why I wouldn’t go with your brothers. I have to go with you.” “Who said so? You’re free now, Milo. Don’t you know what that means? You can come and go anywhere you like. You ought to appreciate it.” “I appreciate you, Lady Helen!” Once Milo raised his voice, he couldn’t stop. He shouted so loudly that the two oxen trotted to the far side of the pasture as fast as they could move their massive bodies. “You’re the one who gave me my freedom. If I love to be fifty, I’ll never be able to repay you!” Milo’s uproar attracted the attention of the two guards, but I waved them back when I saw them coming toward us. “Do you think you could be grateful quietly?” I asked. “This is between us, not us and all Delphi. You owe me nothing. Listen, if you leave now, you might still be able to catch up to my brothers. I’ll ask the Pythia for help. There must be at least one of Apollo’s pilgrims heading north today, one who’s going on horseback. If she tells him to carry you with him, you’ll overtake Prince Jason’s party in no time! I’ll give you whatever you’ll need for the road and--” “Then I will be in your debt,” Milo encountered. “If you say I’m free, why aren’t I free to stay with you, if that’s what I want?” “Because it’s stupid!” I forgot my own caution about keeping our voices low. I’d decided that if I couldn’t win our argument with facts, I’d do it with volume. “Don’t you see, Milo? This is a better opportunity than anything that’s waiting for you in Sparta! What could you become if you went there? A potter, a tanner, a metalsmith, maybe a farmer’s boy or a shepherd. But if you sail to Colchis with my brothers, you could be--” “Seasick,” Milo finished for me. I raised my eyebrows. “Is that why you won’t go? Not even if it means passing up a once-in-a-lifetime chance for adventures? For a real future? I’m disappointed.” Milo folded his arms. “Why don’t you just command me not to be seasick? Command me to go away and leave you, while you’re at it. Command me to join your brothers. It’s not what I want, but I guess that doesn’t matter after all.” I was about to launch into another list of reasons why he should rush after my brothers when his words stopped me. Lord Oeneus was open-handed with commands, I thought. And it was worse for Milo when his hand closed into a fist. I shouldn’t bully Milo into joining the quest for the fleece just because I wish I could do it myself. In that instant, a happy inspiration struck me with the force of one of Zeus’s own thunderbolts: Why can’t I? I found an unripe acorn lying on the ground beside me and flicked it at Milo. “All right,” I told him. “You win. You can stay with me.” A look of utter relief spread across his face until I added, “But I win too. You’re going to go with my brothers.” “But how can I do that if--?” “And so am I.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
Slothrop is just settling down next to a girl in a prewar Worth frock and with a face like Tenniel’s Alice, same forehead, nose, hair, when from outside comes this most godawful clanking, snarling, crunching of wood, girls come running terrified out of the eucalyptus trees and into the house and right behind them what comes crashing now into the pallid lights of the garden but—why the Sherman Tank itself! headlights burning like the eyes of King Kong, treads spewing grass and pieces of flagstone as it manoeuvres around and comes to a halt. Its 75 mm cannon swivels until it’s pointing through the French windows right down into the room. “Antoine!” a young lady focusing in on the gigantic muzzle, “for heaven’s sake, not now. . . .” A hatch flies open and Tamara—Slothrop guesses: wasn’t Italo supposed to have the tank?—uh—emerges shrieking to denounce Raoul, Waxwing, Italo, Theophile, and the middleman on the opium deal. “But now,” she screams, “I have you all! One coup de foudre!” The hatch drops—oh, Jesus—there’s the sound of a 3-inch shell being loaded into its breech. Girls start to scream and make for the exits. Dopers are looking around, blinking, smiling, saying yes in a number of ways. Raoul tries to mount his horse and make his escape, but misses the saddle and slides all the way over, falling into a tub of black-market Jell-o, raspberry flavor, with whipped cream on top. “Aw, no . . .” Slothrop having about decided to make a flanking run for the tank when YYYBLAAANNNGGG! the cannon lets loose an enormous roar, flame shooting three feet into the room, shock wave driving eardrums in to middle of brain, blowing everybody against the far walls. A drape has caught fire. Slothrop, tripping over partygoers, can’t hear anything, knows his head hurts, keeps running through the smoke at the tank—leaps on, goes to undog the hatch and is nearly knocked off by Tamara popping up to holler at everybody again. After a struggle which shouldn’t be without its erotic moments, for Tamara is a swell enough looking twist with some fine moves, Slothrop manages to get her in a come-along and drag her down off of the tank. But loud noise and all, look—he doesn’t seem to have an erection. Hmm. This is a datum London never got, because nobody was looking. Turns out the projectile, a dud, has only torn holes in several walls, and demolished a large allegorical painting of Virtue and Vice in an unnatural act. Virtue had one of those dim faraway smiles. Vice was scratching his shaggy head, a little bewildered. The burning drape’s been put out with champagne. Raoul is in tears, thankful for his life, wringing Slothrop’s hands and kissing his cheeks, leaving trails of Jell-o wherever he touches. Tamara is escorted away by Raoul’s bodyguards. Slothrop has just disengaged himself and is wiping the Jell-o off of his suit when there is a heavy touch on his shoulder. “You were right. You are the man.” “That’s nothing.” Errol Flynn frisks his mustache. “I saved a dame from an octopus not so long ago, how about that?” “With one difference,” sez Blodgett Waxwing. “This really happened tonight. But that octopus didn’t.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
What can I possibly do besides serve as a figure of fun for the Court to laugh at again? I don’t know anything--besides how to lose a war; and I don’t think anyone is requiring that particular bit of knowledge.” I tried to sound reasonable, but even I could hear the bitterness in my own voice. My brother sighed. “I don’t know what I’ll do, either, except I’ll put my hand to anything I’m asked. That’s what our planning session is to be about, soon’s they return. So save your questions for then, and I don’t want any more of this talk of prisoners and grudges and suchlike. Vidanric saved your life--he’s been a true ally, can’t you see it now?” “He saved it twice,” I corrected without thinking. “He what?” My brother straightened up. “In Chovilun dungeon. Didn’t I tell you?” Then I remembered I hadn’t gotten that far before Debegri’s trap had closed about us. Bran pursed his lips, starting at me with an uncharacteristic expression. “Interesting. I didn’t know that.” “Well, you got in the way of an arrow before I got a chance to finish the story,” I explained. “Except, Vidanric didn’t tell me, either.” Branaric opened his mouth, hesitated, then shook his head. “Well, it seems we all have some talking to do. I’m going to lie down first. You drink your tea.” He went out, and I heard the door to his room shut and his cot creak. I looked away, staring at the merry fire, my thoughts ranging back over the headlong pace of the recent days. Suddenly I knew that Shevraeth had recognized me outside that town, and I knew why he hadn’t done anything about it: because Debegri was with him then. The Marquis and his people had searched day and night in order to find me before Debegri did--searched not to kill me, but in order to save me from certain death at Debegri’s hands. Why hadn’t he told me? Because I’d called him a liar and untrustworthy, and had made it plain I wasn’t going to change my opinion, no matter what. Then why hadn’t he told my brother, who did trust him? That I couldn’t answer. And in a sense it didn’t matter. What did matter was that I had been wrong about Shevraeth. I had been so wrong I had nearly gotten a lot of people killed for no reason. Just thinking it made me grit my teeth, and in a way it felt almost as bad as cleaning the fester from my wounded foot. Which was right, because I had to clean out from my mind the fester caused by anger and hatred. I remembered suddenly that horrible day in Galdran’s dungeon when the Marquis had come to me himself and offered me a choice between death and surrender. “It might buy you time,” he’d said. At that moment I’d seen surrender as dishonor, and it had taken courage to refuse. He’d seen that and had acknowledged it in many different ways, including his words two days before about my being a heroine. Generous words, meant to brace me up. What I saw now was the grim courage it had taken to act his part in Galdran’s Court, all the time planning to change things with the least amount of damage to innocent people. And when Branaric and I had come crashing into his plans, he’d included us as much as he could in his net of safety. My subsequent brushes with death were, I saw miserably now, my own fault. I had to respect what he’d done. He’d come to respect us for our ideals, that much was clear. What he might think of me personally…
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I’m at my locker; the door is jammed, and I’m trying to yank it open. I finally get the door loose and there’s Josh, standing right there. “Lara Jean…” He has this shell-shocked, confused expression on his face. “I’ve been trying to talk to you since last night. I came by, and nobody could find you…” He holds out my letter. “I don’t understand. What is this?” “I don’t know…,” I hear myself say. My voice feels far away. It’s like I’m floating above myself, watching it all unfold. “I mean, it’s from you, right?” “Oh, wow.” I take a deep breath and accept the letter. I fight the urge to tear it up. “Where did you even get this?” “It got sent to me in the mail.” Josh jams his hands into his pockets. “When did you write this?” “Like, a long time ago,” I say. I let out a fake little laugh. “I don’t even remember when. It might have been middle school.” Good job, Lara Jean. Keep it up. Slowly he says, “Right…but you mention going to the movies with Margot and Mike and Ben that time. That was a couple of years ago.” I bite my bottom lip. “Right. I mean, it was kind of a long time ago. In the grand scheme of things.” I can feel tears coming on so close that if I break concentration even for a second, if I waver, I will cry and that will make everything worse, if such a thing is possible. I must be cool and breezy and nonchalant now. Tears would ruin that. Josh is staring at me so hard I have to look away. “So then…Do you…or did you have feelings for me or…?” “I mean, yes, sure, I did have a crush on you at one point, before you and Margot ever started dating. A million years ago.” “Why didn’t you ever say anything? Because, Lara Jean…God. I don’t know.” His eyes are on me, and they’re confused, but there’s something else, too. “This is crazy. I feel kind of blindsided.” The way he’s looking at me now, I’m suddenly in a time warp back to a summer day when I was fourteen and he was fifteen, and we were walking home from somewhere. He was looking at me so intently I was sure he was going to try to kiss me. I got nervous, so I picked a fight with him and he never looked at me like that again. Until this moment. Don’t. Just please, don’t. Whatever he’s thinking, whatever he wants to say, I don’t want to hear it. I will do anything, literally anything, not to hear it. Before he can, I say, “I’m dating someone.” Josh’s jaw goes slack. “What?” What? “Yup. I’m dating someone, someone I really really like, so please don’t worry about this.” I wave the letter like it’s just paper, trash, like once upon a time I didn’t literally pour my heart onto this page. I stuff it into my bag. “I was really confused when I wrote this; I don’t even know how it got sent out. Honestly, it’s not worth talking about. So please, please don’t say anything to Margot about it.” He nods, but that’s not good enough. I need a verbal commitment. I need to hear the words come out of his mouth. So I add, “Do you swear? On your life?” If Margot was to ever find out…I would want to die. “All right, I swear. I mean, we haven’t even spoken since she left.” I let out a huge breath. “Great. Thanks.” I’m about to walk away, but then Josh stops me. “Who’s the guy?” “What guy?” “The guy you’re dating.” That’s when I see him. Peter Kavinsky, walking down the hallway. Like magic. Beautiful, dark-haired Peter. He deserves background music, he looks so good. “Peter. Kavinsky. Peter Kavinsky!
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
I’m having my lunch when I hear a familiar hoarse shout, ‘Oy Tony!’ I whip round, damaging my neck further, to see Michael Gambon in the lunch queue. … Gambon tells me the story of Olivier auditioning him at the Old Vic in 1962. His audition speech was from Richard III. ‘See, Tone, I was thick as two short planks then and I didn’t know he’d had a rather notable success in the part. I was just shitting myself about meeting the Great Man. He sussed how green I was and started farting around.’ As reported by Gambon, their conversation went like this: Olivier: ‘What are you going to do for me?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Is that so. Which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Yes, but which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Yes, I understand that, but which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘But which character? Catesby? Ratcliffe? Buckingham’s a good part …’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon, no, Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘What, the King? Richard?’ Gambon: ‘ — the Third, yeah.’ Olivier: “You’ve got a fucking cheek, haven’t you?’ Gambon: ‘Beg your pardon?’ Olivier: ‘Never mind, which part are you going to do?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Don’t start that again. Which speech?’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon, “Was every woman in this humour woo’d.”‘ Olivier: ‘Right. Whenever you’re ready.’ Gambon: ‘ “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d –” ‘ Olivier: ‘Wait. Stop. You’re too close. Go further away. I need to see the whole shape, get the full perspective.’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon …’ Gambon continues, ‘So I go over to the far end of the room, Tone, thinking that I’ve already made an almighty tit of myself, so how do I save the day? Well I see this pillar and I decide to swing round it and start the speech with a sort of dramatic punch. But as I do this my ring catches on a screw and half my sodding hand gets left behind. I think to myself, “Now I mustn’t let this throw me since he’s already got me down as a bit of an arsehole”, so I plough on … “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d –”‘ Olivier: ‘Wait. Stop. What’s the blood?’ Gambon: ‘Nothing, nothing, just a little gash, I do beg your pardon …’ A nurse had to be called and he suffered the indignity of being given first aid with the greatest actor in the world passing the bandages. At last it was done. Gambon: ‘Shall I start again?’ Olivier: ‘No. I think I’ve got a fair idea how you’re going to do it. You’d better get along now. We’ll let you know.’ Gambon went back to the engineering factory in Islington where he was working. At four that afternoon he was bent over his lathe, working as best as he could with a heavily bandaged hand, when he was called to the phone. It was the Old Vic. ‘It’s not easy talking on the phone, Tone. One, there’s the noise of the machinery. Two, I have to keep my voice down ’cause I’m cockney at work and posh with theatre people. But they offer me a job, spear-carrying, starting immediately. I go back to my work-bench, heart beating in my chest, pack my tool-case, start to go. The foreman comes up, says, “Oy, where you off to?” “I’ve got bad news,” I say, “I’ve got to go.” He says, “Why are you taking your tool box?” I say, “I can’t tell you, it’s very bad news, might need it.” And I never went back there, Tone. Home on the bus, heart still thumping away. A whole new world ahead. We tend to forget what it felt like in the beginning.
Antony Sher (Year of the King: An Actor's Diary and Sketchbook)
That black horse we used for packin’ up here is the most cantankerous beast alive,” Jake grumbled, rubbing his arm. Ian lifted his gaze from the initials on the tabletop and turned to Jake, making no attempt to hide his amusement. “Bit you, did he?” “Damn right he bit me!” the older man said bitterly. “He’s been after a chuck of me since we left the coach at Hayborn and loaded those sacks on his back to bring up here.” “I warned you he bites anything he can reach. Keep your arm out of his way when you’re saddling him.” “It weren’t my arm he was after, it was my arse! Opened his mouth and went for it, only I saw him outter the corner of my eye and swung around, so he missed.” Jakes’s frown darkened when he saw the amusement in Ian’s expression. “Can’t see why you’ve bothered to feed him all these years. He doesn’t deserve to share a stable with your other horses-beauties they are, every one but him.” “Try slinging packs over the backs of one of those and you’ll see why I took him. He was suitable for using as a pack mule; none of my other cattle would have been,” ian said, frowning as he lifted his head and looked about at the months of accumulated dirt covering everything. “He’s slower’n a pack mule,” Jake replied. “Mean and stubborn and slow,” he concluded, but he, too, was frowning a little as he looked around at the thick layers of dust coating every surface. “Thought you said you’d arranged for some village wenches to come up here and clean and cook fer us. This place is a mess.” “I did. I dictated a message to Peters for the caretaker, asking him to stock the place with food and to have two women come up here to clean and cook. The food is here, and there are chickens out in the barn. He must be having difficulty finding two women to stay up here.” “Comely women, I hope,” Jake said. “Did you tell him to make the wenches comely?” Ian paused in his study of the spiderwebs strewn across the ceiling and cast him an amused look. “You wanted me to tell a seventy-year-old caretaker who’s half-blind to make certain the wenches were comely?” “Couldn’ta hurt ‘t mention it,” Jake grumbled, but he looked chastened. “The village is only twelve miles away. You can always stroll down there if you’ve urgent need of a woman while we’re here. Of course, the trip back up here may kill you,” he joked referring to the winding path up the cliff that seemed to be almost vertical. “Never mind women,” Jake said in an abrupt change of heart, his tanned, weathered face breaking into a broad grin. “I’m here for a fortnight of fishin’ and relaxin’, and that’s enough for any man. It’ll be like the old days, Ian-peace and quiet and naught else. No hoity-toity servants hearin’ every word what’s spoke, no carriages and barouches and matchmaking mamas arrivin’ at your house. I tell you, my boy, though I’ve not wanted to complain about the way you’ve been livin’ the past year, I don’t like these servents o’ yours above half. That’s why I didn’t come t’visit you very often. Yer butler at Montmayne holds his nose so far in t’air, it’s amazin’ he gets any oxhegen, and that French chef o’ yers practically threw me out of his kitchens. That what he called ‘em-his kitchens, and-“ The old seaman abruptly broke off, his expression going from irate to crestfallen, “Ian,” he said anxiously, “did you ever learn t’ cook while we was apart?” “No, did you?” “Hell and damnation, no!” Jake said, appalled at the prospect of having to eat anything he fixed himself.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
One: A Book Is A Universe and the Universe is a Book. Inside a book, any Physiks or Magical Laws or Manners or Histories may hold sway. A book is its own universe and while in it, you must play by their rules. More or less. Some of the more modern novels are lenient on this point and have very few policemen to spare. This is why sometimes, when you finish a book, you feel strange and woozy, as though you have just woken up. Your body is getting used to the rules and your own universe again. And your own universe is just the biggest and longest and most complicated book ever written—except for all the other ones. This is also why books along the walls make a place feel different—all those universes, crammed into one spot! Things are bound to shift and warp and hatch schemes! Two: Books Are People. Some are easy to get along with and some are shy, some are full of things to say and some are quiet, some are fanciful and some are plainspoken, some you will feel as though you've known forever the moment you open the cover, and some will take years to grow into. Just like people, you must be introduced properly and sit down together with a cup of something so that you can sniff at each other like tomcats but lately acquainted. Listen to their troubles and share their joys. They will have their tempers and you will have yours, and sometimes you will not understand a book, nor will it understand you—you can't love all books any more than you can love every stranger you meet. But you can love a lot of them. And the love of a book is a precious, subtle, strange thing, well worth earning, And just like people, you are never really done with a book—some part of it will stay with you, gently changing the way you see and speak and know. Three: People Are Books. This has two meanings. The first is: Every person is a story. They have a beginning and a middle and an end (though some may have sequels and series).They have motifs and narrative tricks and plot twists and daring escapes and love lost and love won. The rules of books are the rules of life because a book must be written by a person alive, and an alive person will usually try to tell the truth about the world, even if they dress it up in spangles and feathers. The other meaning is: When you read a book, it is not only a story. It is never only a story. Exciting plots may occur, characters suffer and triumph, yes, It is a story. But it is also a person speaking to you, directly to you. A person far away, perhaps in time, perhaps in space, perhaps both. A person who wanted to say something so loud that everyone could hear it. A book is a time-travelling teleportation machine. And there's millions and millions of them! When you read a book, you have a conversation with the person who wrote it. And that conversation is never quite the same twice. Every single reader has a different chat, because they are different people with different histories and ideas in their heads. Why, you cannot even have the same conversation with the same book twice! If you read a book as a child, and again as a Grown-Up, it will be something altogether other. New things will have happened to you, new folk will have come into your life and taught you wild and wonderful notions you never thought of before. You will not be the same person—and neither will the book. When you read, know that someone somewhere wrote those very words just for you, in hopes that you would find something there to take with you in your own travels through time and space.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
He looks through the windscreen at nothing. They are returning to Cuba. The announcement came after the droids withdrew. An auto-animated voice. It did not proclaim their furlough a success or failure. Ibn al Mohammed does not know if the others will accept implantation. He believes they will not, as he will not. Temptation is legion, yet what does it mean? He is not of Satan’s world. What would implantation bring except ceaseless surveillance within a greater isolation? That, and the loss of his soul. Sun-struck and empty, so immense it frightens, the desert is awesome in its indifference. Even as he stares at it, Ibn al Mohammed wonders why he does so. The life that clings to it is sparse, invisible, death-threatened. Perhaps they will cast him out just here, he and all others who do not cooperate. No matter: he has lived in such a place. Sonora is not the same as Arabia, or North Africa, or The Levant, yet its climate and scant life pose challenges that to him are not unfamiliar. Ibn al Mohammed believes he would survive, given a tent, a knife, a vessel in which to keep water, a piece of flint. Perhaps they will grant these necessities. A knife, they might yet withhold. As if, wandering in so complete a desolation, he might meet someone he would want to hurt. As he watches, images cohere. Human figures made small by distance, yet he knows them. His mother, in a dark, loose-fitting, simple abaya. How does he recognize her, in the anonymous dress? Ibn al Mohammed has not seen his mother in a dozen years. He knows her postures, movements she was wont to make. He sees his sisters, also wearing abayas and khimars. What are they doing? Bending from the waist, they scrounge in the sand. Asna, the eldest, gentle Halima, Nasirah, who cared for him when he was young. They are gathering scraps and remants, camel chips for a fire. Where is their house? Why are they alone? It seems they have remained unmarried—yet what is he seeing? Is it a moment remembered, a vision of the past? Or are these ghosts, apparitions summoned by prophetic sight? Perhaps it is a mirage only. His sisters seem no older than when he left. Is it possible? His mother only appears to have aged. She is shrunken, her back crooked. Anah Kifah, who is patient and struggles. He wonders how they do not see the ship, this great craft that flies across the sky. The ship is in the sky, their eyes are on the ground. That is why they do not see it. Or his windscreen view is magnified, and Halima and Nasirah and Asna and Anah Kifah are much farther away than they seem, and the ship is a vanishing dot on an unremarked horizon. If he called, they would not hear. Also, there is the glass. Still, he wishes to call to them. What is best to say? “Mother … Mother.” Anah Kifah does not lift her head. His words strike the windscreen and fall at his feet, are carried away by wind, melt into air. “Nasirah? It is Ibn. Do you hear me? Halima? Halima, I can see you. I see all my sisters. I see my mother. Asna? How has it been with you? Do you hear me? It is Ibn. I am here—far away, yet here, and I shall come back. They cannot lock me always in a cage, God willing. In a month, in a year, I shall be free. Keep faith. Always know God is with you. God is great. God protects me. God gives me strength to endure their tortures. One day, God will speed my return.” The women do not lift their heads. They prod the sand, seemingly indifferent to what they find. Straining toward them, Ibn al Mohammed cries out, “Mother! Nasirah! I am alive! I am alive!” [pp. 160-162]
John Lauricella
Billy sipped the last of his coffee from the mug and shut down his laptop. 1,000 words wasn’t great but it also wasn’t as bad as no words at all. It hadn’t exactly been a great couple of years and the royalties from his first few books were only going to hold out so much longer. Even if he didn’t have anything else to worry about there was always Sara to consider. Sara with her big blue eyes so like her mother’s. He sat for a moment longer thinking about his daughter and all they’d been through since Wendy had passed. Then he picked up his mug with a long sigh and carried it to the kitchen to rinse it in the sink. When he came back into his little living room and the quiet of 1 AM he wasn’t surprised to find her there over to the side of the bookshelf hovering close to the floor just beyond the couch. Wendy. Her eyes were cold and intense in death, angry and spiteful in a way he’d never seen them when she was alive. What once had been beautiful was now a horror and a threat, one that he’d known far too well in the years since she’d died. He and Sara both. He stood where he was looking at her as she glared up at him. Part of her smaller vantage point was caused by kneeling next to the shelf but he knew from the many times she’d walked or run through a room that death had also reduced her, made her no higher than 4 or 4 and half feet when she’d been 6 in life. She was like a child trapped there on the cusp between youth and coming adulthood. Crushed and broken down into a husk, an entity with no more love for them than a snake. Familiar tears stung his eyes but he blinked them away letting his anger and frustration rise in place of his grief. “Fuck you! What right do you have to be here? Why won’t you let Sara and I be? We loved you! We still love you!” She doesn’t respond, she never does. It’s as if she used up all of her words before she died and now all that’s left is the pain and the anger of her death. The empty lack of true life in her eyes leaves him cold. He doesn’t say anything else to her. It’s all a waste and he knows it. She frightens him as much as she makes him angry. Spite lives in every corner of her body and he’s reached his limit on how long he can see this perversion, this nightmare of what once meant so much to him. He walks past the bookshelf and through the doorway there. He and Sara’s rooms are up above. With an effort he resists the urge to look back down the hall to see if she’s followed. He refuses to treat his wife like a boogeyman no matter how much she has come to fit that mold. He can feel her eyes burning into him from somewhere back at the edge of the living room. The sensation leaves a cold trail of fear up his back as he walks the last four feet to the stairs and then up. He can hear her feet rush across the floor behind him and the rustle of fabric as she darts up the stairs after him. His pulse and his feet speed up as she grows closer but he’s never as fast as she is. Soon she slips up the steps under his foot shoving him aside as she crawls on her hands and feet through his legs and up the last few stairs above. As she passes through his legs, her presence never more clear than when it’s shoving right against him, he smells the clean and medicinal smells of the operating room and the cloying stench of blood. For a moment he’s back in that room with her, listening to her grunt and keen as she works so hard at pushing Sara into the world and then he’s back looking up at her as she slowly considers the landing and where to go from there. His voice is a whisper, one that pleads. “Wendy?
Amanda M. Lyons (Wendy Won't Go)
Notice that Jesus knows exactly who he is asking to lead his community: a sinner. As all Christian leaders have been, are, and will be, Peter is imperfect. And as all good Christian leaders are, Peter is well aware of his imperfections. The disciples too know who they are getting as their leader. They will not need—or be tempted—to elevate Peter into some semi-divine figure; they have seen him at his worst. Jesus forgives Peter because he loves him, because he knows that his friend needs forgiveness to be free, and because he knows that the leader of his church will need to forgive others many times. And Jesus forgives totally, going beyond what would be expected—going so far as to establish Peter as head of the church.11 It would have made more earthly sense for Jesus to appoint another, non-betraying apostle to head his church. Why give the one who denied him this important leadership role? Why elevate the manifestly sinful one over the rest? One reason may be to show the others what forgiveness is. In this way Jesus embodies the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who not only forgives the son, but also, to use a fishing metaphor, goes overboard. Jesus goes beyond forgiving and setting things right. A contemporary equivalent would be a tenured professor stealing money from a university, apologizing, being forgiven by the board of trustees, and then being hired as the school’s president. People would find this extraordinary—and it is. In response, Peter will ultimately offer his willingness to lay down his life for Christ. But on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he can’t know the future. He can’t understand fully what he is agreeing to. Feed your sheep? Which sheep? The Twelve? The disciples? The whole world? This is often the case for us too. Even if we accept the call we can be confused about where God is leading us. When reporters used to ask the former Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe where the Jesuit Order was going, he would say, “I don’t know!” Father Arrupe was willing to follow, even if he didn’t know precisely what God had in mind. Peter says yes to the unknowable, because the question comes from Jesus. Both Christ’s forgiveness and Peter’s response show us love. God’s love is limitless, unconditional, radical. And when we have experienced that love, we can share it. The ability to forgive and to accept forgiveness is an absolute requirement of the Christian life. Conversely, the refusal to forgive leads ineluctably to spiritual death. You may know families in which vindictiveness acts like a cancer, slowly eating away at love. You may know people whose marriages have been destroyed by a refusal to forgive. One of my friends described a couple he knew as “two scorpions in a jar,” both eagerly waiting to sting the other with barbs and hateful comments. We see the communal version of this in countries torn by sectarian violence, where a climate of mutual recrimination and mistrust leads only to increasing levels of pain. The Breakfast by the Sea shows that Jesus lived the forgiveness he preached. Jesus knew that forgiveness is a life-giving force that reconciles, unites, and empowers. The Gospel by the Sea is a gospel of forgiveness, one of the central Christian virtues. It is the radical stance of Jesus, who, when faced with the one who denied him, forgave him and appointed him head of the church, and the man who, in agony on the Cross, forgave his executioners. Forgiveness is a gift to the one who forgives, because it frees from resentment; and to the one who needs forgiveness, because it frees from guilt. Forgiveness is the liberating force that allowed Peter to cast himself into the water at the sound of Jesus’s voice, and it is the energy that gave him a voice with which to testify to his belief in Christ.
James Martin (Jesus: A Pilgrimage)
Another howl ruptured the quiet, still too far away to be a threat. The Beast Lord, the leader, the alpha male, had to enforce his position as much by will as by physical force. He would have to answer any challenges to his rule, so it was unlikely that he turned into a wolf. A wolf would have little chance against a cat. Wolves hunted in a pack, bleeding their victim and running them into exhaustion, while cats were solitary killing machines, designed to murder swiftly and with deadly precision. No, the Beast Lord would have to be a cat, a jaguar or a leopard. Perhaps a tiger, although all known cases of weretigers occurred in Asia and could be counted without involving toes. I had heard a rumor of the Kodiak of Atlanta, a legend of an enormous, battle-scarred bear roaming the streets in search of Pack criminals. The Pack, like any social organization, had its lawbreakers. The Kodiak was their Executioner. Perhaps his Majesty turned into a bear. Damn. I should have brought some honey. My left leg was tiring. I shifted from foot to foot . . . A low, warning growl froze me in midmove. It came from the dark gaping hole in the building across the street and rolled through the ruins, awakening ancient memories of a time when humans were pathetic, hairless creatures cowering by the weak flame of the first fire and scanning the night with frightened eyes, for it held monstrous hungry killers. My subconscious screamed in panic. I held it in check and cracked my neck, slowly, one side then another. A lean shadow flickered in the corner of my eye. On the left and above me a graceful jaguar stretched on the jutting block of concrete, an elegant statue encased in the liquid metal of moonlight. Homo Panthera onca. The killer who takes its prey in a single bound. Hello, Jim. The jaguar looked at me with amber eyes. Feline lips stretched in a startlingly human smirk. He could laugh if he wanted. He didn’t know what was at stake. Jim turned his head and began washing his paw. My saber firmly in hand, I marched across the street and stepped through the opening. The darkness swallowed me whole. The lingering musky scent of a cat hit me. So, not a bear after all. Where was he? I scanned the building, peering into the gloom. Moonlight filtered through the gaps in the walls, creating a mirage of twilight and complete darkness. I knew he was watching me. Enjoying himself. Diplomacy was never my strong suit and my patience had run dry. I crouched and called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” Two golden eyes ignited at the opposite wall. A shape stirred within the darkness and rose, carrying the eyes up and up and up until they towered above me. A single enormous paw moved into the moonlight, disturbing the dust on the filthy floor. Wicked claws shot forth and withdrew. A massive shoulder followed, its gray fur marked by faint smoky stripes. The huge body shifted forward, coming at me, and I lost my balance and fell on my ass into the dirt. Dear God, this wasn’t just a lion. This thing had to be at least five feet at the shoulder. And why was it striped? The colossal cat circled me, half in the light, half in the shadow, the dark mane trembling as he moved. I scrambled to my feet and almost bumped into the gray muzzle. We looked at each other, the lion and I, our gazes level. Then I twisted around and began dusting off my jeans in a most undignified manner. The lion vanished into a dark corner. A whisper of power pulsed through the room, tugging at my senses. If I did not know better, I would say that he had just changed. “Kitty, kitty?” asked a level male voice. I jumped. No shapechanger went from a beast into a human without a nap. Into a midform, yes, but beast-men had trouble talking. “Yeah,” I said. “You’ve caught me unprepared. Next time I’ll bring cream and catnip toys.” “If there is a next time.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
They'd followed him up and had seen him open the door of a room not far from the head of the stairs. He hadn't so much as glanced their way but had gone in and shut the door. She'd walked on with Martha, past that door, down the corridor and around a corner to their chamber. Drawing in a tight-faintly excited-breath, she set out, quietly creeping back to the corner, her evening slippers allowing her to tiptoe along with barely a sound. Nearing the corner, she paused and glanced back along the corridor. Still empty. Reassured, she started to turn, intending to peek around the corner- A hard body swung around the corner and plowed into her. She stumbled back. Hard hands grabbed her, holding her upright. Her heart leapt to her throat. She looked up,saw only darkness. She opened her mouth- A palm slapped over her lips. A steely arm locked around her-locked her against a large, adamantine male body; she couldn't even squirm. Her senses scrambled. Strength, male heat, muscled hardness engulfed her. Then a virulent curse singed her ears. And she realized who'd captured her. Panic and sheer fright had tensed her every muscle; relief washed both away and she felt limp. The temptation to sag in his arms, to sink gratefully against him, was so nearly overwhelming that it shocked her into tensing again. He lowered his head so he could look into her face. Through clenched teeth, he hissed, "What the hell are you doing?" His tone very effectively dragged her wits to the fore. He hadn't removed his hand from her lips. She nipped it. With a muted oath, he pulled the hand away. She moistened her lips and angrily whispered back, "Coming to see you, of course. What are you doing here?" "Coming to fetch you-of course." "You ridiculous man." Her hands had come to rest on his chest. She snatched them back, waved them. "I'm hardly likely to come to grief over the space of a few yards!" Even to her ears they sounded like squabbling children. He didn't reply. Through the dark, he looked at her. She couldn't see his eyes, but his gaze was so intent, so intense that she could feel... her heart started thudding, beating heavier, deeper. Her senses expanded, alert in a wholly unfamiliar way. he looked at her...looked at her. Primitive instinct riffled the delicate hairs at her nape. Abruptly he raised his head, straightened, stepped back. "Come on." Grabbing her elbow, he bundled her unceremoniously around the corner and on up the corridor before him. Her temper-always close to the surface when he was near-started to simmer. If they hadn't needed to be quiet, she would have told him what she thought of such cavalier treatment. Breckenridge halted her outside the door to his bedchamber; he would have preferred any other meeting place, but there was no safer place, and regardless of all and everything else, he needed to keep her safe. Reaching around her, he raised the latch and set the door swinging. "In here." He'd left the lamp burning low. As he followed her in, then reached back and shut the door, he took in what she was wearing. He bit back another curse. She glanced around, but there was nowhere to sit but on the bed. Quickly he strode past her, stripped off the coverlet, then autocratically pointed at the sheet. "Sit there." With a narrow-eyed glare, she did, with the haughty grace of a reigning monarch. Immediately she'd sat, he flicked out the coverlet and swathed her in it. She cast him a faintly puzzled glance but obligingly held the enveloping drape close about her. He said nothing; if she wanted to think he was concerned about her catching a chill, so be it. At least the coverlet was long enough to screen her distracting angles and calves. Which really was ridiculous. Considering how many naked women he'd seen in his life, why the sight of her stockinged ankles and calves should so affect him was beyond his ability to explain.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Maartje Pool kneaded briskly, the color high in her cheeks, what with the vigorous pummeling and rolling, and something else that made her look strangely young for the moment—girlish, almost. “Sure, I liked him, I liked him.” “But you ran away?” “Not far. I came back. Nobody ever knew I ran, even. But I ran. I knew.” “Why did you come back?” Maartje elucidated her philosophy without being in the least aware that it could be called by any such high-sounding name. “You can’t run away far enough. Except you stop living you can’t run away from life.
Edna Ferber (So Big)
Lucy,” came the call again, neither her father’s voice nor Peter’s. She sat up, trembling with excitement but not with fear. The moon was so bright that the whole forest landscape around her was almost as clear as day, though it looked wilder. Behind her was the fir wood; away to her right the jagged cliff-tops on the far side of the gorge; straight ahead, open grass to where a glade of trees began about a bow-shot away. Lucy looked very hard at the trees of that glade. “Why, I do believe they’re moving,” she said to herself. “They’re walking about.” She got up, her heart beating wildly, and walked toward them. There was certainly a noise in the glade, a noise such as trees make in a high wind, though there was no wind tonight. Yet it was not exactly an ordinary tree-noise either. Lucy felt there was a tune in it, but she could not catch the tune any more than she had been able to catch the words when the trees had so nearly talked to her the night before. But there was, at least, a lilt; she felt her own feet wanting to dance as she got nearer. And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving—moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. (“And I suppose,” thought Lucy, “when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.”) She was almost among them now. The first tree she looked at seemed at first glance to be not a tree at all but a huge man with a shaggy beard and great bushes of hair. She was not frightened: she had seen such things before. But when she looked again he was only a tree, though he was still moving. You couldn’t see whether he had feet or roots, of course, because when trees move they don’t walk on the surface of the earth; they wade in it as we do in water. The same thing happened with every tree she looked at. At one moment they seemed to be the friendly, lovely giant and giantess forms which the tree-people put on when some good magic has called them into full life: next moment they all looked like trees again. But when they looked like trees, it was like strangely human trees, and when they looked like people, it was like strangely branchy and leafy people—and all the time that strange lilting, rustling, cool, merry noise. “They are almost awake, not quite,” said Lucy. She knew she herself was wide awake, wider than anyone usually is.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection: All 7 Books Plus Bonus Book: Boxen)
could be dangerous. If they feel that we are going to harm them, then they might harm us trying to escape. Therefore, we will not go unless we have guards with us, that is my advice to you, cousin. You did make me tanist after all in order to do such a thing." "Fine cousin, as you say. Let us go and speak to the woman first," Cameron said as he held out his hand to his wife. Maria took his hand and smiled at him. "I do wonder if the woman is from my time, or possibly another time. I am anxious to speak with her." Together they all walked out of the room into the corridor where Bran shouted for two guards to join them. He was much more cautious than his cousin. As the cousin of the Laird and his Tanist, Bran was a seasoned warrior who took his responsibilities seriously. He was both brave and loyal to his clan, though he has some trouble wrapping his head around the doorway's power that Maria had come through. A part of him still did not believe that it was possible. But Bran's wariness and experience balanced his cousin's adventurous spirit and occasional impulsiveness. That was why Cameron had made him Tanist to begin with. He needed someone to fill in the gaps he lacked, and Bran was his opposite in almost all things except loyalty. That was a quality they both possessed. As far as physical features, the two cousins had the same coloring, but Bran was leaner than his cousin, with cropped short hair and usually wore a cap. They made their way to the east wing where Bran unlocked the door. The small woman was sitting on the bed with eyes wide. She backed away into the corner immediately. "I already told you I don't want to take part in your renaissance play reenactment. Why bring me to a bedroom? Is this some sort of orgy renaissance... thing? I don't want any part of it. Now I must speak with your manager or tour guide. I need to be on one of the buses back to town. I cannot let my husband find me," the redhead said standing up. Bran noticed that her small hands clenched into fists at her side, she was angry and had some fierceness to her. He liked that, he liked it a little too much. Chapter 5 Edith ran down the dark corridors. She pulled on a door and a skeleton popped out at her causing her to scream. It was old and dusty with old cloth rags hanging from it. She continued running but wasn't able to get to where she was going. Then the scenery around her change from a dark stone corridor to the beach. But it was not just any beach, it was a rocky cliffside that had a sharp drop several feet down to the water. The white foam of the waves crashing on the rocks seemed very angry. As though they were coming for her, it grew louder and louder until a very large wave came and washed over her, pulling her out to sea. With that noise, Edith awoke from the nightmare she was having. Edith opened her eyes, stirring awake. The sound of the ocean was still very loud, and she wondered if she was still in the dream, but the ocean was so clear. Even the sound of squawking seagulls could be heard. Where am I? Quickly she sat up in bed, assuming that Gabriel was lying next to her
Rebecca Preston (Kiss a Highlander (A Highlander Across Time, #2))
A series of light bulbs dangling from raw wires illuminated its progression to a far-off end… and she wasn’t sure what she was seeing. The walls had cutouts in them, little curve-topped holes stacked three to a group and spaced far enough apart to accommodate ladders that led up to the middle and top levels. It was almost as though they were sleeping compartments of some kind— “Come on,” Apex hissed. “We don’t want to be caught here.” “Then why did you stop.” She glanced back at him. “What are all those spaces?” “None of your business.” As he pulled her away, she did some math in her head. Assuming they were a kind of bunk system, there had to be—Jesus, several hundred workers in the facility. “How many people are here?” she said, even though she’d already done the estimate, and even if she hadn’t, he would certainly not help her. It was more like she couldn’t believe the total. “We’re going all the way up to the main floor. It’s more dangerous in some ways and less so in others.” “Well, I’ll put that in my Yelp! review of this place. Thanks.” When they got to the next floor, he didn’t give her a chance to stop at the fire door. She caught only a glance through its window down another long corridor. Unlike the one under it, the level seemed to be far more brightly lit, and there were no sleeping pods. The walls were also finished, although only with raw Sheetrock from what she glimpsed. At the next landing, Apex stopped at a steel door that had no window in it. Pressing his ear against the steel panel, he seemed to not even breathe as he listened. Then he turned to her. “The lowest two floors are totally underground. The next one up is mostly so. This one is not at all, however, so I’m going to have to move fast. As soon as I open the way, we’re heading to the first door on the left that’s unlocked. It’s a break room. It will be empty and the windows are boarded up, so it’s safer. On three. One… two… three—” Apex ripped open the metal panel, and then recoiled as if he had been hit with toxic gas. Lifting his arm to his face, he ducked down low—and jumped forward
J.R. Ward (The Wolf (Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp, #2))
I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Ircham ― Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily
Ircham
I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Ircham ― Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily
chambucket
I didn’t suffer from a lack of fuel. The currentshadows had been so strong all my life, strong enough to render me incapable of attending a simple dinner party, strong enough to bow my back and force tears from my eyes, strong enough to keep me awake and pacing all through the night. Strong enough to kill, but now I understood why they killed. It wasn’t because they drained the life from a person, but because they overwhelmed it. It was like gravity—we needed it to stay grounded, alive, but if it was too strong, it formed a black hole, from which even light could not escape. Yes, the force of the current was too fierce for one body to contain— Unless that body was mine. My body, battered again and again by soldiers and brothers and enemies, but still working its way upright— My body, a channel for the pure force of current, the hum-buzz of life that brought others to their knees— Life is full of pain, I had told Akos, trying to draw him back from depression. Your capacity for bearing it is greater than you believe. And I had been right. I had had every reason to become closed off, wrapped up tight, pushing everything that resembled life and growth and power as far away from myself as possible. It would have been easier that way, to refuse to let anything in. But I had let Akos in, trusting him when I had forgotten how to trust, and I had let Teka in, too, and maybe one day, Sifa— I would let anyone in who dared draw near. I was like the planet Ogra, which welcomed anyone and anything that could survive life close to it. Not because I deserved pain, and not because I was too strong to feel it, but because I was resilient enough to accept it as an inevitability.
Veronica Roth (The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2))
So you’ve lost your best suspect,’ said Cadfael thoughtfully. ‘The only one I had. And not sorry, so far as the fool himself is concerned, that he should turn out to be blameless. Well, short of murder, at least,’ Hugh corrected himself. ‘But contenders were thin on the ground from the start. And what follows now?’ ‘What follows,’ said Cadfael, ‘is that I tell you what I’ve come to tell you, for with even Conan removed from the field it becomes more substantial even than I thought. And then, if you agree, we might drain Conan dry of everything he knows, to the last drop, before you turn him loose. I can’t be sure, even, that anyone has so much as mentioned to you the box that Elave brought home for the girl, by way of a dowry? From the old man, before he died in France?’ ‘Yes,’ said Hugh wonderingly, ‘it was mentioned. Jevan told me, by way of accounting for Conan’s wanting to get rid of Elave. He liked the daughter, did Conan, in a cool sort of way, but he began to like her much better when she had a dowry to bring with her. So says Jevan. But that’s all I know of it. Why? How does the box have any bearing on the murder?’ ‘I have been baffled from the start,’ said Cadfael, ‘by the absence of motive. Revenge, said everyone, pointing the finger at Elave, but when that was blown clear away by young Father Eadmer, what was left? Conan may have been eager to prevent Aldwin from
Ellis Peters (The Heretic's Apprentice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #16))
Be a skeptic. Respect your instructors, but also remember they are experts in the subject of martial arts training, not fighting. Even if they are former champions themselves, the best they can do is offer you a glimpse into what happened to work for them. Keep your ears open for potential garbage at all times. Some of the most common red flags for garbage are speaking in absolutes (“This kick will always knock him out”) and making untestable claims (“This kick will break the knee,” or “This strike will kill your opponent”). The truth is you have no good way of knowing what will happen as a result of most of your techniques. Replace untested assumptions with uncertainty, and learn to embrace that uncertainty. Ask why. At the most basic level, you want to ask “why” to make sure you understand the technique. Ask, “Why do we tuck our thumb in for this technique?” or “Why do we turn our foot for this kick?” The more you understand the “why” behind a rule, the better you will understand when it is OK to break it. Go deeper with your questions and ask about choices. Ask, “Why do we use a knife hand to strike the neck instead of a straight punch?” Go even deeper and ask about strategy with questions such as, “Why do we kick the leg?” Ultimately, ask about goals, such as, “What are we trying to accomplish by punching our opponent?” No instructor could ever answer every question you ask, and different instructors may have different answers to the same question, so don’t be disappointed if they don’t always have a good answer, but don’t forget to be skeptical as you listen either. Break everything. Every technique you learn, every strategy you employ, every weapon you use, and every piece of safety gear you wear, you should try to break. Find out what the limits are on your own terms, when you have time to soak it all in, instead of when you need your mind focused on your opponent. If you learned how to block a punch, have a friend throw punches harder and harder until one either flies through the block or hurts your arm. See what happens when you block too close or too far away. Does it also work on kicks? Try out various incoming punch angles. Take each technique to multiple extremes, and make a mental note of not only how far you can take it, but also the way it breaks down when you get there. Get it wrong on purpose. Make mistakes when you practice a technique with a partner and make mistakes when you spar. Mistakes are learning opportunities, and you won’t get enough of them if you are always flawless in class. Get sloppy and watch what happens. Overcommit, drop your hands, or use a narrow base on the mat. Zone out or let yourself get distracted for a moment and see what it takes to recover. Get used to making mistakes and dealing with the repercussions.
Jason Thalken (Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts (Martial Science))
Clary held her hands up. 'I do get it. I know you don’t like me, Isabelle. Because I’m a mundane to you.' 'You think that’s why—' Isabelle broke off, her eyes bright; not just with anger, Clary saw with surprise, but with tears. “God, you don’t understand anything, do you? You’ve known Jace what, a month? I’ve known him for seven years. And all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him fall in love, never seen him even like anyone. He’d hook up with girls, sure. Girls always fell in love with him, but he never cared. I think that’s why Alec thought—” Isabelle stopped for a moment, holding herself very still. She’s trying not to cry, Clary thought in wonder—Isabelle, who seemed like she never cried. “It always worried me, and my mom, too—I mean, what kind of teenage boy never even gets a crush on anyone? It was like he was always half-awake where other people were concerned. I thought maybe what had happened with his father had done some sort of permanent damage to him, like maybe he never really could love anyone. If I’d only known what had really happened with his father—but then I probably would have thought the same thing, wouldn’t I? I mean, who wouldn’t have been damaged by that?' 'And then we met you, and it was like he woke up. You couldn’t see it, because you’d never known him any different. But I saw it. Hodge saw it. Alec saw it—why do you think he hated you so much? It was like that from the second we met you. You thought it was amazing that you could see us, and it was, but what was amazing to me was that Jace could see you, too. He kept talking about you all the way back to the Institute; he made Hodge send him out to get you; and once he brought you back, he didn’t want you to leave again. Wherever you were in the room, he watched you…. He was even jealous of Simon. I’m not sure he realized it himself, but he was. I could tell. Jealous of a mundane. And then after what happened to Simon at the party, he was willing to go with you to the Dumort, to break Clave Law, just to save a mundane he didn’t even like. He did it for you. Because if anything had happened to Simon, you would have been hurt. You were the first person outside our family whose happiness I’d ever seen him take into consideration. Because he loved you.' Clary made a noise in the back of her throat. 'But that was before—' 'Before he found out you were his sister. I know. And I don’t blame you for that. You couldn’t have known. And I guess you couldn’t have helped that you just went right on ahead and dated Simon afterward like you didn’t even care. I thought once Jace knew you were his sister, he’d give up and get over it, but he didn’t, and he couldn’t. I don’t know what Valentine did to him when he was a child. I don’t know if that’s why he is the way he is, or if it’s just the way he’s made, but he won’t get over you, Clary. He can’t. I started to hate seeing you. I hated for Jace to see you. It’s like an injury you get from demon poison—you have to leave it alone and let it heal. Every time you rip the bandages off, you just open the wound up again. Every time he sees you, it’s like tearing off the bandages.' 'I know,' Clary whispered. “How do you think it is for me?” 'I don’t know. I can’t tell what you’re feeling. You’re not my sister. I don’t hate you, Clary. I even like you. If it were possible, there isn’t anyone I’d rather Jace be with. But I hope you can understand when I say that if by some miracle we all get through this, I hope my family moves itself somewhere so far away that we never see you again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Why do we as animals often struggle to cope with suffering and devastation that occurs because we are so far removed from our dear loved ones who have departed from us forever in the heavenly realms or when we encounter a challenge in our own life situations that may take us down a downward path of emotional disempowerment?" The Rabbit remarked. The eagle responded, "to achieve an environment of lasting peace, we need adversity and the harrowing experience of living through tragic events. No matter how hard we may strive, it is inevitable that we will all have to endure hardship at some period of time in our journey through our lives. Every animal inherits the same inherent defect, just like the wind will carry us away into the infinite abyss at the very moment of death. While you may decide to pursue happiness, you may also have the choice to suffer grieving as well, and it is up to you, as all of us will always have the gift of guilt which is keeping us in the present circumstances that we find ourselves in.
D.L. Lewis
See guys falling in love or making friendship is not a crime and dressing sense, food habits, medicinal preferences, way of life, everything is your choice BUT your personal choice shouldn't affect the society or organization. And if you want to raise questions, then you must be in a position where you can not be questioned. And my friendship or personal choices are always away from me but they will come on anytime from any places, I make it in that manner. And nobody can predict my next move and who will be talking for me. So my style of friendship is like that. And morally or legally or in any manner can no one question me and have questioned me so far. That's why i am saying this don't follow me, follow your dreams. Get help from me for ideas of success and failure. Consider me as your brother that is better, considering me a s friend or love is risky as you can not predict me and you don't know who will be behind me.
Ganapathy K
I don't even care about what other would think about me at all. I am not searching for girlfriend in order to explain, I am a science lover and I see everything in terms of science i have explanations for anything through science. I know traditional and so called highly respectful spiritualism with Vedas and all religious texts, But If i choose that path many of you will not exist at all. That is the fact and I don't want to end the universe with so many beautiful stories to hear, although this world is filled with bad people there are N number of good people also there, so If I choose completely traditional spiritual path many will die, this world population will become half. For example If i enter Nalanda again think about the consequences but I love Nalanda always. I will definitely enter science but where? I will think about it after 20th march. My reputation starts only if I meet a right girl then If she is correct always and even sit and talk with me at least, then I will stop watching porn. But you know what so far only few girls were able to sit and talk with me directly all other girls I have seen so far, are just they look at me and terrify and fly away. So first sit and talk with me if you can. Be ready to answer my questions, if you want me to be your friend. You can not even handle 5 minutes. That is why I am saying this it is better that I am being single and go to science.
Ganapathy K
MRS. POOLE: I would have done just the same as Alice, if I hadn’t remembered my training. A good servant never gives way to emotion, my father used to tell me when he was alive, bless his soul. You girls going so far away, and not knowing when you’d be back! MARY: But we did get back safely in the end, Mrs. Poole. MRS. POOLE: Eventually! But the worry I had along the way . . . CATHERINE: Can you please do your best to not give away the plot? Like the fact that Mary eventually made it safely home . . . I won’t say whether or not the others did! MARY: Oh please. If we hadn’t made it back, we wouldn’t be writing this book. The important thing is, what happened to us on the way? CATHERINE: It’s unbelievable, what authors have to put up with from their own characters. Remind me why I agreed to do this? MARY: Excuse me. We are not your characters, but fellow members of the Athena Club. And as to why you agreed . . . we need money, remember? CATHERINE: Oh, right.
Theodora Goss (European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2))
Whenever a person says, "It's good to believe in Jesus Christ, but it takes more than that," watch out! The minute you tell me that I have to be righteous and must prove myself before God by my holiness, you are not bringing me to God; you are pushing me away from Him. I am not righteous and I am not holy and there is no way I can be, so what you are telling me is not good news. It is far from good news. It's a proclamation of death.
Chuck Smith (Why Grace Changes Everything)
I just want you to know," my father said, "I forgive you." "For what?" I said. "For everything." It was just unbelievable. I had taken care of my mother when she was ill. I had taken care of my father after his heart surgery. Had they paid me? Had they worried that this might be a hardship for me? Had they asked my brother to take time off the tenure track to help them? And now, here it was my winter break, I had friends going on trips, Hong Kong, Myanmar, but no, I'd told them all I couldn't go because my father had said he wanted to visit me. So I let him come and gave him my bed, and I drive him across the Bay to visit his crazy old friends and play the filial game, and now this! When I was a teenager, he'd spent money on my brother for a car, a motorcycle, a three-wheeler even, and I wasn't allowed to go out after dark, and the housework I'd done, and the cooking, and who had to work her way through college? I felt the old familiar anger settling into my stomach again, and I remembered why I'd wanted to move far away from my family in the first place, vowing to stay away. I took a deep cleansing breath, the kind the therapist recommended when she talked about family dynamics and repeating the cycle and breaking the cycle, and I exhaled slowly over my teeth. I tried to count to ten but only made it to five. "I forgive you too," I said tightly. "You're welcome," my father agreed. "No, I said I FORGIVE YOU. I didn't thank you.
May-lee Chai (Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories)