It's hard enough to just be a good actor. When you're on set, there's everything going against you. There are walkie talkies going off, the camera is creaking and moving, there are boom mics, and you have to hit your mark and make sure you don't shadow the other person's face. It's a really technical process.
Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. To-day I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity - I belong to the earth!
We are apt to imagine that this hubbub of Philosophy, Literature, and Religion, which is heard in pulpits, lyceums, and parlors, vibrates through the universe, and is as catholic a sound as the creaking of the earth's axle. But if a man sleeps soundly, he will forget it all between sunset and dawn.
Henry David Thoreau
But what is certain is that in five, ten or twenty years, this problem unique to our time, according to him, will no longer exist, it will be replaced by others... Yet this music, the sound of this rain on the windows, the great mournful creaking of the cedar tree in the garden outside, this moment, so tender, so strange in the middle of war, this will never change, not this, this is forever.
But reading is different, reading is something you do. With TV, and cinema for that matter, everything's handed to you on a plate, nothing has to be worked at, they just spoon-feed you. The picture, the sound, the scenery, the atmospheric music in case you haven't understood what the director's on about... The creaking door that tells you to be stiff. You have to imagine it all when you're reading.
I found my mind wandering at games; loved boxing and was good at it; and in summer, having chosen rowing instead of cricket, lay peacefully by the Stour, well upstream of the rhythmic creaking and the exhortation, reading Lily Christine and Gibbon and gossiping with kindred lotus-eaters under the willow-branches.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Now, remember: they're not for eating, but for listening, because you'll often be hungry for sounds as well as food. Here are street noises at night, train whistles from a long way off, dry leaves burning, busy department stores, crunching toast, creaking bed springs, and of course, all kinds of laughter. There's a little of each, and in far off, lonely places, I think you will be glad to have them.
The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds-the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors.
I have no fresh-from-the-oven mother-daughter recollections - only the daily creaking of cans being opened and the sucking sound of gelatinous vegetables splurting from their tin-encased vacuums. Her kitchen was filled with smoke and impatience. ... And so I grew up finding my own path, frying what could not be boiled, winging my way through life without recipes.
Patricia J. Williams
Slowly, but very deliberately, the brooding edifice of seduction, creaking and incongruous, came into being, a vast Heath Robinson mechanism, dually controlled by them and lumbering gloomily down vistas of triteness. With a sort of heavy-fisted dexterity the mutually adapted emotions of each of them became synchronized, until the unavoidable anti-climax was at hand.
The mind of the greatest man on earth is not so independent of circumstances as not to feel inconvenienced by the merest buzzing noise about him; it does not need the report of a cannon to disturb his thoughts. The creaking of a vane or a pully is quite enough. Do not wonder that he reasons ill just now; a fly is buzzing by his ear; it is quite enough to unfit him for giving good counsel.
The appearance of strength is all about you. It would seem to last forever. However... the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen... and you will hear the creaking.
Believe me, I grow daily more convinced that the atmosphere is an inexhaustible source of countless beauties. It is up to we artists to learn, hour by hour, to penetrate itto understand about Distance, to know the Air and space, which is never still, but always vibrating and wiggling. The tiniest oscillation is, in itself, a motive for art - it is a new beauty: fluttering, creaking, disjointed, and buoyant.
Mario de Sa-Carneiro
I said out loud, "Damn you for saving yourself. How come you left me with nothing but to love you and hate you, and that's gonna kill me, and you know it is." Then I turned round, went back to the cellar room, and picked up the sewing. Don't think she wasn't in every stitch I worked. She was in the wind and the rain and the creaking from the rocker. She sat on the wall with the birds and stared at me. When darkness fell, she fell with it.
Sue Monk Kidd
Slowly, but very deliberately, the brooding edifice of seduction, creaking and incongruous, came into being, a vast Heath Robinson mechanism, dually controlled by them and lumbering gloomily down vistas of triteness. With a sort of heavy-fisted dexterity the mutually adapted emotions of each of them became synchronised, until the unavoidable anti-climax was at hand. Later they dined at a restaurant quite near the flat.
Just as a dancer, turning and turning, may fill the dusty light with the soft swirl of her flying skirts, our weeping willow -- now old and broken , creaking in the breeze -- turns slowly, slowly in the winter sun, sweeping the rusty roof of the barn with the pale blue lacework of her shadow.
I saw the spiders marching through the air, Swimming from tree to tree that mildewed day In latter August when the hay Came creaking to the barn. But where The wind is westerly, Where gnarled November makes the spiders fly Into the apparitions of the sky, They purpose nothing but their ease and die Urgently beating east to sunrise and the sea;
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?
H. G. Wells
He held out his hand to Sophie, just like Mrs. Pentstemmon, but a little less royally. Sophie levered herself up, wondering if she was meant to kiss this hand or not. But since she felt more like raising her stick and beating the King over the head with it, she shook the King's hand and gave a creaking little curtsy.
Diana Wynne Jones
You believed you could transcend the body as you aged, she tells herself. You believed you could rise above it, to a serene, nonphysical realm. But it's only through ecstasy you can do that, and ecstasy is achieved through the body itself. Without the bone and sinew of wings, no flight. Without that ecstasy you can only be dragged further down by the body, into its machinery. Its rusting, creaking, vengeful, brute machinery.
She herself, as she had said, was oddly enjoying the snowy night. She had seldom had reason to be abroad in such weather at night, and she had forgotten, or never noticed, how clear the sky was or how brightly the stars twinkled down. They might have been the only ones alive in the whole world, for it was deadly still, the eerie light giving the night almost a magical quality. Everyday items were rendered mysterious and beautiful by their layer of white, and the only sounds were those they made, of creaking leather and the crisp squeak of snow underfoot.
The action of a thing is the same as the naming of it - is, in fact, the real name. The trees creak and they are saying, 'trees creak through the long night.' The long night - what is it? Trees creaking. There wasn't anything that tied life's moments together, except life. And when it was gone?
She wrote poetry constantly; that was her "work". She was a slow bleeder and she slaved over it for long, exhausting hours, and many a middle of a night I could hear her creaking around the dead house with a pen in one hand, a clipboard and a flashlight in the other, refining her poems, jotting down the lines of a conceit. Writing never came easy for her; it gave her calluses. She never courted the muses, she wrestled them, mauled them all over the house and came up, after weeks of peripatetic labor, with a slim Spencerian sonnet, fourteen lines of imagistic jabberwocky.
But Robin: their dear little Robs. More than ten years later, his death remained an agony; there was no glossing any detail; its horror was not subject to repair or permutation by any of the narrative devices that the Cleves knew. And-since this willful amnesia had kept Robin's death from being translated into that sweet old family vernacular which smoothed even the bitterest mysteries into comfortable, comprehensible form-the memory of that day's events had a chaotic, fragmented quality, bright mirrorshards of nightmare which flared at the smell of wisteria, the creaking of a clothes-line, a certain stormy cast of spring light.
But now, our daily monkeyshines are such, our preoccupations are so low, our language has be come so debased, the words so blunted and damaged, we've said such stupid and dull things, the the higher beings hear only babbling and grunting and TV commercials - the dog-food level of things. This says nothing to them. What pleasure can these higher beings take in this kind of materialism, devoid of higher thought or poetry? As a result, all that we can hear in sleep is matter creaking and hissing and washing, the rustling of plants, and air conditioning. So we are incomprehensible to the higher beings. They can't influence us and they themselves suffer a corresponding privation.
The music of cri-cri and cigales droned on in a hypnotic rhythm, punctuated by the occasional croon of the nightingale. I thought of lullabies and how as a child they would placate my disappointment that another day had ended. I was used to sleeping in strange places, and would always focus on sound to relax. In the pawnshop, it was the ticking of grandfather clocks or the tuning of antique instruments. In the thieves' den, it was striking of a match, the bubbling of a water pipe and the gentle murmur floating in off the streets. On the Wastrel, it was the wind or the creaking wood. It was important to me to find lullabies where I could. If death came with a lullaby, perhaps fewer men would fear it.
The smell of the sea, of kelp and fish and bitter moving water, rose stronger in my nostrils. It flooded my consciousness like an ancestral memory. The swells rose sluggishly and fell away, casting up dismal gleams between the boards of the pier. And the whole pier rose and fell in stiff and creaking mimicry, dancing its long slow dance of dissolution. I reached the end and saw no one, heard nothing but my footsteps and the creak of the beams, the slap of waves on the pilings. It was a fifteen-foot drop to the dim water. The nearest land ahead of me was Hawaii.
It was quiet in the cell. Rubashov heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer. It was a mistake in the system; perhaps it lay in the precept which until now he had held to be uncontestable, in whose name he had sacrificed others and was himself being sacrificed: in the precept, that the end justifies the means. It was this sentence which had killed the great fraternity of the Revolution and made them run amuck. What had he once written in his diary? "We have thrown overboard all conventions, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic; we are sailing without ethical ballast.
Jeffrey woke up, tied to the high-backed chair in his bedroom, nude. He could hear his wife giggling in the hallway, the hardwood floors creaking with her footsteps with what must have been someone else too. He was gagged, a tight cloth wrapped around his mouth, hurting his jaw when he tried to call for help. He looked down at his body, seeing that he was tied with an intricate rope pattern - a pentagram - on his chest, the hemp fibers tight. He could breathe fine, and he recognized his wife's rigging skills instantly. They'd practiced Kinbaku, a rope bondage before, on multiple occasions, but this rigging was different. It seemed to be tighter than normal, and he knew that something new was being introduced tonight.
Discussing it later, many of us felt we suffered a mental dislocation at that moment, which only grew worse through the course of the remaining deaths. The prevailing symptom of this state was an inability to recall any sound. Truck doors slammed silently; Lux's mouth screamed silently; and the street, the creaking tree limbs, the streetlight clicking different colors, the electric buzz of the pedestrian crossing box - all these usually clamorous voices hushes, or had begun shrieking at a pitch too high for us to hear, though they sent chills up our spines. Sound returned only once Lux had gone. Televisions erupted with canned laughter. Fathers splashed, soaking aching backs.
They told of dripping stone walls in uninhabited castles and of ivy-clad monastery ruins by moonlight, of locked inner rooms and secret dungeons, dank charnel houses and overgrown graveyards, of footsteps creaking upon staircases and fingers tapping at casements, of howlings and shriekings, groanings and scuttlings and the clanking of chains, of hooded monks and headless horseman, swirling mists and sudden winds, insubstantial specters and sheeted creatures, vampires and bloodhounds, bats and rats and spiders, of men found at dawn and women turned white-haired and raving lunatic, and of vanished corpses and curses upon heirs.
There are our ghosts, ' Smithers said. It was a word he liked to use, said Brewster. Like most of us Brewster had read a few ghost stories, and to him the word 'ghosts' summoned up the creaking floorboards of a haunted house, shrouded white figures gliding silently through darkness, fluttering robes moving of their own bodiless accord, strangely transparent coaches travelling swiftly down a midnight road, and other such images quite remote from the chanting and drumming of desert folk in gaudy garb, with jingling anklets and necklaces, under a hot fierce sun. But the sounds of the Thar came from some invisible source, and to Smithers they were sounds made by ghosts. ("Smithers And The Ghosts Of The Thar")
Powerful winds that crack the boughs of November! - and the bright calm sun, untouched by the furies of the earth, abandoning the earth to darkness, and wild forlornness, and night, as men shiver in their coats and hurry home. And then the lights of home glowing in those desolate deeps. There are the stars, though! - high and sparkling in a spiritual firmament. We will walk in the windsweeps, gloating in the envelopment of ourselves, seeking the sudden grinning intelligence of humanity below these abysmal beauties. Now the roaring midnight fury and the creaking of our hinges and windows, now the winder, now the understanding of the earth and our being on it: this drama of enigmas and double-depths and sorrows and grave joys, these human things in the elemental vastness of the windblown world.
White-crested waves crash on the shore. The masts sway violently, every which way. In the gray sky the gulls are circling like white flakes. Rain squalls blow past like gray slanting sails, and blue gaps open in the sky. The air brightens. A cold silvery evening. The moon is overhead, and down below, in the water; and all around it-a wide frame of old, hammered, scaly silver. Etched on the silver-silent black fishing boats, tiny black needles of masts, little black men casting invisible lines into the silver. And the only sounds are the occasional plashing of an oar, the creaking of an oarlock, the springlike leap and flip-flop of a fish. ("The North")
Gripped with bitter cold, ice-locked, Petersburg burned in delirium. One knew: out there, invisible behind the curtain of fog, the red and yellow columns, spires, and hoary gates and fences crept on tiptoe, creaking and shuffling. A fevered, impossible, icy sun hung in the fog - to the left, to the right, above, below - a dove over a house on fire. From the delirium-born, misty world, dragon men dived up into the earthly world, belched fog - heard in the misty world as words, but here becoming nothing - round white puffs of smoke. The dragon men dived up and disappeared again into the fog. And trolleys rushed screeching out of the earthly world into the unknown. ("The Dragon")
This was to be my last trip. Sailing great distances was dangerous, and not very profitable in today's world. I walked down the worn wooden step to the captain's cabin, the creaking of the ship keeping time with my steps. Opening the door I found him bent over an old map. "Where are we captain?" I asked, hoping it was close to home. "See this spot, where it says "Here there be monsters"?" he said pointing to an image of a horrid beast. "Certainly, but you and I both know such creatures don't exist!!" The captain laughed, and looking up at me with an evil glint in his eye said, "Who's talking about sea monsters?". As he spoke the skin from one corner of his mouth fell loose, exposing a yellow reptilian skin beneath. "What?" I yelled, and as I turned to run for the cabin door I heard screams and loud moans coming from the deck, and the crew quarters below. I felt fetid breath on the back of my neck, "Aye matey, here there be monsters
One may, in a case of exigency, introduce the reader in to a nuptial chamber, not into a virginal chamber. Verse would hardly venture it, prose must not. It is the interior of a flower that is not yet unfolded, it is whiteness in the dark, it is the private cell of a closed lily, which must not be gazed upon by man so long as the sun has not gazed upon it. Woman in the bud is sacred. That innocent bud which opens, that adorable half-nudity which is afraid of itself, that white foot which takes refuge in a slipper, that throat which veils itself before a mirror as though a mirror were an eye, that chemise which makes haste to rise up and conceal the shoulder for a creaking bit of furniture or a passing vehicle, those cords tied, those clasps fastened, those laces drawn, those tremors, those shivers of cold and modesty, that exquisite affright in every movement, that almost winged uneasiness where there is no cause for alarm, the successive phases of dressing, as charming as the clouds of dawn, -it is not fitting at all that all this should be narrated, and it is too much to have even called attention to it.
Did you have one of those days today, like a nail in the foot? Did the pterodactyl corpse dropped by the ghost of your mother from the spectral Hindenburg forever circling the Earth come smashing through the lid of your glass coffin? Did the New York strip steak you attacked at dinner suddenly show a mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and did it snap off the end of your fork, the last solid-gold fork from the set Anastasia pressed into your hands as they took her away to be shot? Is the slab under your apartment building moaning that it cannot stand the weight on its back a moment longer, and is the building stretching and creaking? Did a good friend betray you today, or did that good friend merely keep silent and fail to come to your aid? Are you holding the razor at your throat this very instant? Take heart, comfort is at hand. This is the hour that stretches. Djan karet. We are the cavalry. We're here. Put away the pills. We'll get you through this bloody night. Next time, it'll be your turn to help us. "Eidolons" (1988)
Chapter 8 - The Rescue Team: "Timbroke Hall was completely dark. A creaking shutter opened and closed to the rhythm of a howling, north wind. It bore a cold reminder of the harsh winter coming quickly this year. The children crept up the rock stairs to the familiar wooden doors at the front of the building. Ariana led them around the porch to a side door according to her, was never locked. The broken handle dangled loosely and offered free entrance. The team cautiously crossed the threshold of the old hall into pitch blackness. An owl hooted and the sound of large wings flapping reverberated around them. Camilla startled, cried out a fearful yelp causing everyone to jump. Hannah reflexively covered Camilla's mouth until she was certain nothing more would slip out. 'Quiet, ' whispered Jess in an angry tone directed at Hannah. 'It wasn't me, ' whispered Hannah pointing down at Camilla. 'Sorry, ' whispered Camilla apologetically.
When it begins it is like a light in a tunnel, a rush of steel and steam across a torn up life. It is a low rumble, an earthquake in the back of the mind. My spine is a track with cold black steel racing on it, a trail of steam and dust following behind, ghost like. It feels like my whole life is holding its breath. By the time she leaves the room I am surprised that she can't see the train. It has jumped the track of my spine and landed in my mothers' living room. A cold dark thing, black steel and redwood paneling. It is the old type, from the western movies I loved as a kid. He throws open the doors to the outside world, to the dark ocean. I feel a breeze tugging at me, a slender finger of wind that catches at my shirt. Pulling. Grabbing. I can feel the panic build in me, the need to scream or cry rising in my throat. And then I am out the door, running, tumbling down the steps falling out into the darkened world, falling out into the lifeless ocean. Out into the blackness. Out among the stars and shadows. And underneath my skin, in the back of my head and down the back of my spine I can feel the desperation and I can feel the noise. I can feel the deep and ancient ache of loudness that litters across my bones. It's like an old lover, comfortable and well known, but unwelcome and inappropriate with her stories of our frolicking. And then she's gone and the Conductor is closing the door. The darkness swells around us, enveloping us in a cocoon, pressing flat against the train like a storm. I wonder, what is this place? Those had been heady days, full and intense. It's funny. I remember the problems, the confusions and the fears of life we all dealt with. But, that all seems to fade. It all seems to be replaced by images of the days when it was all just okay. We all had plans back then, patterns in which we expected the world to fit, how it was to be deciphered. Eventually you just can't carry yourself any longer, can't keep your eyelids open, and can't focus on anything but the flickering light of the stars. Hours pass, at first slowly like a river and then all in a rush, a climax and I am home in the dorm, waking up to the ringing of the telephone. When she is gone the apartment is silent, empty, almost like a person sleeping, waiting to wake up. When she is gone, and I am alone, I curl up on the bed, wait for the house to eject me from its dying corpse. Crazy thoughts cross through my head, like slants of light in an attic. The Boston 395 rocks a bit, a creaking noise spilling in from the undercarriage. I have decided that whatever this place is, all these noises, sensations - all the train-ness of this place - is a fabrication. It lulls you into a sense of security, allows you to feel as if it's a familiar place. But whatever it is, it's not a train, or at least not just a train. The air, heightened, tense against the glass. I can hear the squeak of shoes on linoleum, I can hear the soft rattle of a dying man's breathing. Men in white uniforms, sharp pressed lines, run past, rolling gurneys down florescent hallways.