For the writer, there is nothing quite like having someone say that he or she understands, that you have reached them and affected them with what you have written. It is the feeling early humans must have experienced when the firelight first overcame the darkness of the cave. It is the communal cooking pot, the Street, all over again. It is our need to know we are not alone.
The red firelight glowed on their two bonny heads and revealed their faces, animated with the eager interest of children; for, though he was twenty-three and she eighteen, each had so much of novelty to feel, and learn, that neither experienced nor evinced the sentiments of sober disenchanted maturity.
But all I could see was her. No skill of mine, no artist anywhere, could've immortalized how gorgeous she was. It was impossible to believe she'd ever had any doubts about her body. The firelight shone on her skin, golden and perfect, making her look like some radiant goddess of legend. I wanted to kneel before her and offer eternal obedience.
Much of my crying is for joy and wonder rather than for pain. A trumpet's wailing, a wind's warm breath, the chink of a bell on an errant lamb, the smoke from a candle just spent, first light, twilight, firelight. Everyday beauty. I cry for how life intoxicates. And maybe just a little for how swiftly it runs.
Marlena De Blasi
The blood dried on his good hand, he passed his palm over her hair. It curled about his wrist and sprung back into displace as the breeze fluttered by. In the firelight, it was golden like the dandelions of which she'd spoken. The ones that had grown along the Franklin riverbank in late summer. The ones he had lost any faith in since he'd committed his first murder there.
It occurred to Dr. Lecter in the moment that with all his knowledge and intrusion, he could never entirely predict her, or own her at all. He could feed the caterpillar, he could whisper through the chrysalis; what hatched out followed its own nature and was beyond him. He wondered if she had the .45 on her leg beneath the gown. Clarice Starling smiled at him then, the cabochons caught the firelight and the monster was lost in self-congratulation at his own exquisite taste and cunning.
There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles, ' Chiron said. 'And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?' 'Perhaps, ' Achilles admitted. I listened and did not speak. Achilles' eyes were bright in the firelight, his face drawn sharply by the flickering shadows. I would know it in dark or disguise, I told myself. I would know it even in madness.
He guided her hands lower, over her own soft belly, her hips, the tops of her thighs. The oils they spread there left a sheen upon her flesh. A sheen that glistened as firelight and shadows caroused about the space. His grasped her wrists and he urged her hands to her back once again. 'Clasp them, ' he said and she did.
When Emerson's library was burning at Concord, I went to him as he stood with the firelight on his strong, sweet face, and endeavored to express my sympathy for the loss of his most valued possessions, but he answered cheerily, 'Never mind, Louisa, see what a beautiful blaze they make! We will enjoy that now.' The lesson was one never forgotten and in the varied lessons that have come to me I have learned to look for something beautiful and bright.
Louisa May Alcott
On a cloudy day, when the dim dance of the firelight and the warmth of the sconces are not enough, the books shed their own form of light. By the hundreds, they fill the shelves that stretch across every inch of exposed wall. They rise up to the ceiling, warriors of an impenetrable army, encircling my over-sized armchair and keeping me safe as they whisper their stories softly in my ear.
The dark hills, with the darker spruces marching over them, looked grim on early falling nights, but Ingleside bloomed with firelight and laughter, though the winds come in from the Atlantic singing of mournful things. "Why isn't the wind happy, Mummy?" asked Walter one night. "Because it is remembering all the sorrow of the world since it began, " answered Anne.
Then she did something so unexpected Nico would later think he dreamed it. She walked up to Nico, who was standing to one side in the shadows, as usual. She grabbed his hand and pulled him gently into the firelight. 'We had one home, ' she said. 'Now we have two.' She gave Nico a big hug and the crowd roared with approval. For once, Nico didn't feel like pulling away. He buried his face in Reyna's shoulder and blinked the tears out of his eyes.
For a time he read his Neil Diamond bible by the firelight. He paused, twisting nervously at his goatee, considering the law in Deuteronomy that forbade clothes with mixed fibers. A problematic bit of Scripture. A matter that required thought. "Only the devil wants man to have a wide range of lightweight and comfortable styles to choose from, " he murmured at last, trying out a new proverb. "Although there may be no forgiveness for polyester. On this matter, Satan and the Lord are in agreement.
The firelight magnified our shadows, glinted off the silver, flickered high upon the walls; its reflection roared orange in the windowpanes as if a city were burning outside. The whoosh of the flames was like a flock of birds, trapped and beating in a whirlwind near the ceiling. And I wouldn't have been at all surprised if the long mahogany banquet table, draped in linen, laden with china and candles and fruit and flowers, had simply vanished into thin air, like a magic casket in a fairy story.
The clock's pendulum catches the firelight, and in the rattle-breathed final moments of Jacob de Zoet, amber shadows in the far corner coagulate into a woman's form. She slips between the bigger, taller onlookers unnoticed ... and adjusts her headscarf, the better to hide her burn. She places her cool palms on Jacob's fever-glazed face. Jacob sees himself, when he was young, in her narrow eyes. Her lips touch the place between his eyebrows. A well-waxed paper door slides open.
[John] watched the flames for a while. "I would have to say that I find God in serving His children. 'When I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stanger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, sick and you cared for me, imprisoned and you came to me.'" The words lingered in the air as the fire popped and hissed softly. Sondoz had stopped pacing and stood motionless in a far corner of the room, his face in shadows, firelight glittering on the metallic exoskeleton of his hands. "Don't hope for more than that, John, " he said. "God will break your heart.
Mary Doria Russell
When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?" "They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now." But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,... She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Blackadder was fifty-four and had come to editing Ash out of pique. He was the son and grandson of Scottish schoolmasters. His grandfather recited poetry on firelight evenings: Marmion, Childe Harold, Ragnarok. His father sent him to Downing College in Cambridge to study under F. R. Leavis. Leavis did to Blackadder what he did to serious students; he showed him the terrible, the magnificent importance and urgency of English literature and simultaneously deprived him of any confidence in his own capacity to contribute to, or change it. The young Blackadder wrote poems, imagined Dr Leavis's comments on them, and burned them.
I realized, when I saw the forest burning, how fascinating the firelight is. It's beautiful, and people stare at it, don't they? It destroys things and kills people, but humans love it. Is it because they crave their own destruction, Sam? I want to understand your kind. I am going out into the wider world, and I must learn. But first things first. First, to escape this shell, this egg in which I have gestated, all eyes will be on the fire, all eyes blinded by the smoke, and when I walk out of here, out into your large world with its billions, no one will even see. It's the beauty of light, don't you see, Sam? It reveals, but it also distracts and blinds. It's even better than darkness.
You told me men don't do this.' 'Do what?' She walked around the counter, speaking animatedly. 'Two years ago. We were at Firelight, having drinks. Cade and I had split up and you said that men don't mope around after a breakup. You said that men avoid issues, get drunk, and pick up a new girl to forget the old one-but that you don't brood.' Ford held out his hands in disbelief. 'How do you remember that? And I'm not brooding.' She folded her arms across her chest and looked at him. 'I know you're my friend, ' he said. 'But please, for once, can you just act like you have a penis? Because I don't want to talk about this.' She shrugged. 'Fine. We'll just sit here and listen to music.' She reached for his phone again. 'Have you heard Taylor Swift's new song?' 'No.' 'Well, you're going to-on endless repeat until you start talking.
Everyone thinks that it was the big strong caveman who got the girl, and for the most part, that may have been true, but physical strength doesn't explain how our species created civilization. I think there was always some scrawny dreamer sitting at the edge of the firelight, who had the ability to imagine dangers, to look into the future in his imagination and see possibilities, and therefore survived to pass his genes on to the next generation. When the big ape men ended up running off the cliff or getting killed while trying to beat a mastodon into submission with a stick, the dreamer was standing back thinking 'Hey, that might work, but you need to run the mastodon off the cliff.' And, then he'd mate with the women left over after the go-getters got killed.
I was merely observing; I have no agenda." He looked at his hand, still touching hers. "Where did you get that ring?" She contracted her hand into a fist as she pulled it away from him. The amethyst in her ring glowed in the firelight. "It was a gift." "From whom?" "That's none of your concern." He shrugged, though she knew betterthan to tell him who'd really given it to her - rather, she knew Chaol wouldn't want Dorian to know."I'd like to know who's been giving rings to my Champion." The way the collar of his black jacket lay across his neck made her unnable to sit still. She wanted to touch him, to trace the line between his tan skin and the golden lining of the fabric. "Billiards?" she asked, rising to her feet. I could use another lesson". Celaena didn't wait for his answer as she strode toward the gaming room. She very much wanted to stand close to him and have her skin warm under his breath. She liked that. Worse than that, she realized, she liked him.
Sarah J. Maas
I had a good time that night, too, " Michael said, "but I kept thinking, This is forever. This is forever. You will have this good time again and again, a million times over, until it will be like a play in which you and Laura and a few fugitive lives sit around an imaginary fire and talk and sing songs and love each other and sometimes throw imaginary brands at the eyes blinking beyond the circle of imaginary firelight. And then I thought - and this is where I sounded just like a real philosopher - And even when you admit that you know every line in the play and every song that will be sung, even when you know that this evening spent with friends is pleasant and joyful because you remember it as pleasant and joyful and wouldn't change it for the world, even when you know that anything you feel for these good friends has no more reality than a dream faithfully remembered every night for a thousand years - even then it goes on. Even then it has just begun.
Peter S. Beagle
The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture-the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.
I should have known what you would do, ' Jem said in a low voice. 'I always know what you will do. I should have known you would put your hands into the fire.' 'And I should have known you would throw that packet away, ' said Will, without rancor. 'It was-it was a madly noble thing to do. I understand why you did it.' 'I was thinking of Tessa.' Jem drew his knees up and rested his chin on them, then laughed softly. 'Madly noble. Isn't that meant to be your area of expertise? Suddenly I am the one who does ridiculous things and you tell me to stop?' 'God, ' said Will. 'When did we change places?' The firelight played over Jem's face and hair as he shook his head. 'It is a very strange thing, to be in love, ' he said. 'It changes you.' Will looked down at Jem, and what he felt, more than jealousy, more than anything else, was a wistful desire to commiserate with his best friend, to speak of the feelings he held in his heart. For were they not the same feelings? Did they not love the same way, the same person? But, 'I wish you wouldn't risk yourself, ' was all he said. Jem stood up. 'I have always wished that about you.' Will raised his eyes, so drowsy with sleep and the tiredness that came with healing runes that he could see Jem only as a haloed figure of light. 'Are you going?' 'Yes, to sleep.' Jem touched his fingers lightly to Will's healing hands. 'Let yourself rest, Will.
Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach. Does that answer your Questions, Doctor?
What is the colour of Christmas? Red? The red of the toyshops on a dark winter's afternoon, Of Father Christmas and the robin's breast? Or green? Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house, dark shadow of summer in leafless winter? One might plainly add a romance of white, fields of frost and snow; thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. But many will say that the significant colour is gold, gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, For the true colour of Christmas is Black. Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind, black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight. I am not sure who wrote this. I got it from page nine of 'A Book of Christmas' by William Sansom. Google didn't help. It is rather true I think, that the true color of Christmas is black. For like the author said in succeeding sentences 'The table yellow with electric light, the fire by which stories are told, the bright spangle of the tree- they all blaze out of shadow and out of a darkness of winter