I started to walk away, but she [Clarisse] called out, "Percy?" "Yeah?" "When you, uh, had that vision about your friends... " "You were one of them, " I promised, "Just don't tell anybody, okay? Or I'de have to kill you." A faint smile flickered across her face "See you later." "See you
The sting of her abandonment had not lessened through the years, and I suspected it would never go away. Occasionally, I could see agony in her eyes, the shadows that flickered in the background. If I could, I'd take her pain and make it my own. I'd swallow it like a bitter pill and live with the consequences.
I, Horus, son of Osiris, claim the throne of the heavens as my birthright!" he shouted."What was once mine shall be mine again.Is there anyone who would challenge me?" The gods flickered and glowed. A few scowled. One muttered something that sounded like "Cheese", although that could've been my imagination.
Persephone told me that you said it wasn't as good as you expected it. When she kissed you, I mean." Something flickered behind his eyes, but it was gone so fast that I couldn't tell what it was. "No, it was not. I find little joy in showing affection to somebody who does not return it." "Yeah, me too." I covered his hand with mine and pressed my lips against his palm. "It hurts being the one who loves more.
Ana Iris once asked me if I loved him and I told her about the lights in my old home in the capital, how they flickered and you never knew if they would go out or not. You put down your things and you waited and couldn't do anything really until the lights decided. This, I told her, is how I feel.
She wasted and grew so thin that she no longer was a little girl, but the shadow of a little girl. The flame of her life flickered so faintly that it appeared sufficient to blow at it to extinguish it. Stas understood that death did not have to wait for a third attack to take her and he expected it any day or any hour.
Far away, I could hear them lapping up my brains. Like Macbeth's witches, the three lithe cats surrounded my broken head, slurping up that thick soup inside. The tips of their rough tongues licked the soft folds of my mind. And with each lick my consciousness flickered like a flame and faded away.
Mr. Ryland was a riddle to unfold, an attractive one at that. The lone candle flickered behind him, outlining powerful shoulders, tempting solidness she wanted to test. "But an evening of harmless flirtation isn't out of the question." His gaze fixed on her. "I'd welcome an evening free of complications." Did he just proposition her?
in the distance across the dark fields I saw a flame. With the rainy season, the fireflies had long since disappeared. What then could this be? The flame flickered, now brightly, no dimly, and sometimes it glowed like a halo, as if it had sunk deep into water. I was frightened by this flame. For in my heart I, too, carried a flame.
Red light flickered behind her closed eyelids, and when she opened them, she discovered that they were surrounded by flames. Let it burn... His sleek brow wrinkled, and he shook his head. Poor man looked conflicted, which was an interesting expression on a nightmare. "Your city is on fire." She smiled languidly. "Ain't it grand?
Let me give you a bit of advice.' the girl said bitterly, 'from one working girl to another; life isn't easy, no matter where you are. You'll make choices you think are right and then suffer for them.' Those remarkable eyes flickered. 'So if you're going to be miserable, you might as well go to Antica and be miserable in the shadow of the Torre Cesme.
Sarah J. Maas
I'm noticing a new approach to art making in recent museum and gallery shows. It flickered into focus at the New Museum's 'Younger Than Jesus' last year and ran through the Whitney Biennial, and I'm seeing it blossom and bear fruit at 'Greater New York,' MoMA P.S. 1's twice-a-decade extravaganza of emerging local talent.
We walked at night towards a cafe blooming with Japanese lanterns and I followed your white shoes gleaming like radium in the damp darkness. Rising off the water, lights flickered an invitation far enough away to be interpreted as we liked; to shimmer glamourously behind the silhouette of retrospective good times when we still believed in summer hotels and the philosophies of popular songs.
You could study the connections for years and never work it out-it was all about things coming together, things falling apart, time warp, my mother standing out in front of the museum when time flickered and the light went funny, uncertainties hovering on the edge of a vast brightness. the stray chance that might, or might not, change everything.
I closed my eyes and let a wave of heat pass over me, tingling right down into my fingertips. As my eyes flickered open I let my hands shoot out in front of me, sending a spiral of flames into a nearby tree. The entire structure caught alight and glowed grotesquely. "Remind me never to make you angry!" A now all-too familiar voice said behind me.
Where moments before the bright morning sun flickered through the branches of the huge oak trees surrounding the property, every-thing in a ten yard radius immediately went pitch dark. The air, already a chilly fifty degrees, dropped past freezing in an instant, and the pressure changed to the point where he thought his eardrums might burst.
His whole being, his whole life was awakened in one instant, as if youth returned to him, as if the extinguished sparks of talent blazed up again. The blindfold suddenly fell from his eyes. God! to ruin the best years of his youth so mercilessly; to destroy, to extinguish the spark of fire that had perhaps flickered in his breast, that perhaps would have developed by now into greatness and beauty, that perhaps would also have elicited tears of amazement and gratitude!
Having second thoughts?' Puck's voice was soft and dangerous, a far cry from his normal flippancy. 'I thought we put this behind us for now.' 'Never, ' I said, matching his stare. 'I can't ever take it back, Goodfellow. I'm still going to kill you. I swore to her I would.' Lighting flickered overhead, and thunder rumbled in the distance as we faced each other with narrowed eyes. 'One day, ' I said softly. 'One day you'll look up, and I'll be there. That's the only ending for us. Don't ever forget.
To the Sabbath! To the Sabbath!' they cried. 'On to the Witches' Sabbath!" Up and down that narrow hall they danced, the women on each side of him, to the wildest measure he had ever imagined, yet which he dimly, dreadfully remembered, till the lamp on the wall flickered and went out, and they were left in total darkness. And the devil woke in his heart with a thousand vile suggestions and made him afraid.
For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.
There are some people that we know all our lives and yet never really feel we know them at all. But there are other people""" Unable to resist the temptation, he ran a feather-light caress down the curve of her cheek with one leather-sheathed knuckle. The cobalt depths of her eyes flickered with response, but she said nothing, heeding his every word. """people we meet in a day, and instantly, it feels as though we've known them all our lives.
It was not the thought that I was so unloved that froze me. I had taught myself to do without love. It was not the thought that God was cruel that froze me. I had taught myself never to expect anything from Him. What froze me was the fact that I had absolutely no reason to move in any direction. What had made me move through so many dead and pointless years was curiosity. Now even that had flickered out.
I went about the job in a direct way. I took the hatchet in both my hands and vigorously beat the fish on the head with the hammerhead (I still didn't have the stomach to use the sharp edge). The dorado did the most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colours in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold, and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt I was beating a rainbow to death.
Hey, Melissa-is there anything I should know about having this kid that isn't in the books I've been reading?" Sunlight streamed through the window, making the golden, hormone-induced mutton chops glisten upon my cheeks. As I waited for her answer, I thumbed through the glossy parenting magazines on her kitchen table. A candle flickered by the sink, adding sweetness to the spit-up scented air that was gutting punched in the face by a diaper change...
A shade flickered to my left, an eerie shadow balanced even more precariously on the railing than I. Her plimsolls struggled to grip the same rail my fingers now held. I knew her face, just as I knew her death; I'd watched it often enough, those times I'd been unable to avoid crossing here. Nerys was always here, tied to the moment of her death, an echo, forever hurtling down into those waters, only to reappear an instant later, once more wavering on the rails.
A smile flickered across Coral's face. "Have you ever noticed that once you have had a taste of certain sweets""raspberry trifle is my own despair""it is quite impossible not to think, not to want, not to crave until you have taken another bite?" "Lord Swartingham is not a raspberry trifle." "No, more of a dark chocolate mousse, I should think," Coral murmured. "And," Anna continued as if she hadn't heard the interruption, "I don't need another bite, uh,night of him.
I should go, " I said thickly. "Let me know when you want to start practice again. And thanks for... talking." I started to turn; then I heard him say abruptly, "No." I glanced back. "What?" He held my gaze, and something warm and wonderful and powerful shot between us. "No, " he repeated. "I told her no." "I... " I shut my mouth before my jaw hit the floor. "But... why? That was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You could have had a baby. And she... she was, you know, into you... " The ghost of a smile flickered on his face. "Yes, she was. Is. And that's why I had to say no. I couldn't return that... couldn't give her what she wanted. Not when... " He took a few steps toward me. "Not when my heart is somewhere else.
The sobs and tears of joy he had not foreseen rose with such force within him that his whole body shook and for a long time prevented him from speaking. Falling on his knees by her bed. He held his wife's hand to his lips and kissed it, and her hand responded to his kisses with weak movement of finger. Meanwhile, at the foot of the bed, in the midwife's expert hands, like the flame of a lamp, flickered the life of a human being who had never existed before...
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.
Captain Owen Hartford, at your service.' He tipped his hat. Oh, so it was going to be like this, was it? She searched her memory for a good name. 'Patience Corntower. Of Thorny Hollow way.' His grin went wide. 'We are well acquainted. You may not recollect me.' 'But I do, sir. Quite clearly.' Something flickered in his gaze. 'Would the miss be available for a short walk on the pier?' 'In the middle of a battle?' Her eyes went wide and she tried not to laugh. 'Aren't you supposed to be getting something amputated?' 'Shhh.' He held up a finger, eyes crinkled at the corners. 'Don't break character.
Mary Jane Hathaway
Don't die on me," she whispered when the clock struck midnight and he still had not moved. "It's only a little shoulder wound. Goddess, George-don't die on me." His eyes flickered open and he smiled. "I didn't know you cared," he whispered. "And why insult me? I won't die for a wee nick like this; I've had worse in my day." Alanna wiped her wet cheeks. "Of course I care, you unprincipled pickpocket!" she whispered. "Of course I care.
Don't die on me, " she whispered when the clock struck midnight and he still had not moved. "It's only a little shoulder wound. Goddess, George-don't die on me." His eyes flickered open and he smiled. "I didn't know you cared, " he whispered. "And why insult me? I won't die for a wee nick like this; I've had worse in my day." Alanna wiped her wet cheeks. "Of course I care, you unprincipled pickpocket!" she whispered. "Of course I care.
She attended the French performance, but the play's content now had a connection to her life. She read a book and the book invariably had lines with sparks from her mind, the fire of her emotions flickered here and there, and words spoken the night before were written down, as if the author had overheard how her heart beat. The forest held the same trees, but their sound had taken on special meaning; she had established a vibrant consonance with them. The birds did not simply twitter and chirp but were saying something to each other. Everything around her spoke and responded to her mood; a flower would blossom and she seemed to hear its breathing. pp. 256-257
Rafe had sat back in his chair so his face was in the shadow, but she knew he was watching her through half-closed eyes. When he leaned forward, the fire from the candles flickered, throwing shadows on the planes of his face. She could see his eyes clearly now, and their steady focus was causing her insides to stir. There was romance in the still air; the rhythm of dripping water from the fountain behind him, the velvet sky studded with stars, the balmy perfumes of the night, all combined to accompany the endless song that had begun in her heart again as she watched him, enthralled.
There was nothing green left; artillery had denuded and scarred every inch of ground. Tiny flares glowed and disappeared. Shrapnel burst with bluish white puffs. Jets of flamethrowers flickered and here and there new explosions stirred up the rubble. While I watched, an American observation plane droned over the Japanese lines, spotting targets for the U.S. warships lying offshore. Suddenly the little plane was hit by flak and disintegrated. The carnage below continued without pause. Here I was safe, but tomorrow I would be there. In that instant I realized that the worst thing that could happen to me was about to happen to me.
I-I've wanted you ever since... " She untied the sash around her waist and let the dressing gown drop to the floor. God save him, she wore not a stitch of clothing. Every shred of self-control fled. His mind consumed with the tantalizing woman before him. Somehow she was even more beautiful now that he'd remembered. The candlelight flickered amber across her skin. Chestnut tresses slid over her shoulder, framing two perfectly formed breasts, tipped by rose. Sean licked his lips, those delectable rosebuds would be his second stop. In two strides, he wrapped her in his arms and crushed his body against hers. "For all that is holy, you have claimed my soul, my flesh and my mind.
The Stars. Jared slept beneath them, uneasy in the rustling leaves. From the battlements Finn gazed up at them, seeing the impossible distances between galaxies and nebulae, and thinking they were not as wide as the distances between people. In the study Claudia sensed them, in the sparks and crackles on the screen. In the prison, Attia dreamt of them, She sat curled on the hard chair, Rix repacking his hidden pockets obsessively with coins and glass discs and hidden handkerchiefs. A single spark flickered deep in the coin Keiro spun and caught, spun and caught.
When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. It just didn't make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world. Who cared? It was not pointless only to him; and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too. More important: Not only would it be pointless, it would have been pointless all along. This was an obscure and rather difficult point to grasp. Understanding of it kept slipping in and out on the edges of his mind. It flickered, changing its time sense and tenses. At those moments when he understood it, it left him with a very hollow feeling.
This was a few weeks ago, " Annabeth said. "Percy told me a crazy story about meeting a boy our near Moriches Bay. Apparently this kid used hieroglyphs to cast spells. He helped Percy battle a crocodile monsters." "The Sob of Sobek!" Sadie blurted. "But my brother battled that monster. He didn't say anything about-" "Is your brother's name Carter?" Annabeth asked. An angry golden aura flickered around Sadie's head-a halo of hieroglyphs that resembled frowns, fists, and dead stick men. "As of this moment, " Sadie growled, "My brother's name is Punching Bag.
Every now and then, we change our minds. It's our prerogative. The big secret is" - I leaned in conspiratorially - "sometimes, even we don't know why. There are times after we pick a fight where we're as confused as you are. But there's no way we're admitting it." I shrugged a shoulder, "That's why we have boobs." Jake's eyebrows shot up. "See, after we've acted crazy, and the guy's wondering what he's doing with us, we use them to mesmerize him, so he forgets that we're crazy." I shot Jake my most seductive smile and leaned the assets in question against his arm. "And by the way, if you look at my cleavage right now, even though I'm the one talking about it, I'll accuse you of not caring about what I saw and of just treating me like an object." Jake swallowed hard, keeping eye contact with me, though I could tell he was fighting his impulse to look down. A mischievous glint flickered through his eyes. "And treating you like an object would be bad?
Stumbling closer, I held up the manuscript, the pages flapping frantically in the wind. 'I take it this is a murder mystery? You killed the ex-fiancee and thanked her in the dedication? Mighty dignified of you, I must say.' 'Nah. It's a horror novel. But yeah, the bimbo dies in the end. Bob Hall says it's going to be a bestseller, so I figured I owed her some thanks for the inspiration.' He edged a few feet closer, his smile spread from ear to ear. The glimmer in his eyes flickered toward the ocean, breaking our connection. He hung his head, licked his lips, then returned his eyes to mine, restoring the connection with an intense smolder. 'Are you gonna get over here, or what?' Letting out a soft chuckle, the tears began to blind me. 'Make me.
Hazed by pleasure, Nix still had to know. This could be his last chance. 'Nikolai, ' he said thickly. 'Tell me about Nikolai.' Roark's hand drifted down over Nix's pale torso. He eyed Nix wryly. 'You have his persistence, ' he allowed wryly. His eyes flickered on Nix's hot face. Everything hidden behind them even as he spoke. 'Very well. He was a genius. He was a ... thug. He was night and day. He could be kindness itself to a stranger, and yet the next day would bathe in that stranger's blood. And if you tear the shirt from Henley's back, you will doubtless find Nikolai's name carved there. Nikolai became mine, and I his, for five hundred years.' Roark's striking face was smooth, expressionless. Enigmatic. 'They were five hundred years of heaven. Five hundred years of hell. I can tell you no more. Not right now. Is that enough?
Jae T. Jaggart
Darling!' Alessandro exclaimed with a cold sneer as a police guard led him into a holding cell. 'What are you doing here? Did you come to tell me that the crazy fog has lifted and you're ready to resume your place by my side?' 'Not in this lifetime. That nut house is not my home, and you really are crazy if you think I'm going anywhere with you.' Alessandro's eyes flickered dangerously. 'Careful, sweetheart. You are still my wife. Let's not forget that, eh?' Bree shook her head. 'You are unbelievable. Do you feel any remorse at all for what you did?' Alessandro clenched his jaw. 'I believe I expressed my remorse quite thoroughly if you recall. I begged you to forgive me and I beg for nothing, Brianna. I laid myself bare and pleaded for you to understand but all you had for me were hateful words.' 'Oh, was I supposed to believe that little performance?' Bree snapped, forcing herself to block out the image of his hands cupping her face, his tears mingling with her own. 'It's hard to know because I believed you when you looked me in the eye and told me you had nothing to do with what happened to Colin.
Quote from MOONLIGHT MAYHEM - pg 224 'Hero Intercedes': His hands flickered upward, and before I knew it, they were cupping my face. So, damnably fast now. Demonic-like fast. Trent reeled me closer. Our foreheads joined. He held me, while I trembled in his arms. I was vaguely aware of Evans and Maxwell watching, although it didn't seem important. Nothing seemed important whenever he did this. It felt like we were enclosed in our own personal bubble made only for the two of us. Trent murmured something in my ear. We stood like that until my shaky legs gradually regained strength. I shut my eyes and pretended my body wasn't sizzling with heat-lightning because Trent stood so close. My hormones always decided to rebel whenever he put his arms around me. And it wasn't totally awkward and uncomfortable. No, it felt like the best thing I'd experienced since before Dad's death. And that's saying a lot.
He had gone again and, emboldened by his first successful trip, had chosen a different sort of world to enter, that of THE MONK. He had studied the book with great care and finally selected a passage that was purely descriptive. The result was the same. The instant he closed the top of the showcase, he was transported to the world described in the open pages. He found himself standing - and shivering - in a dank corridor that, he knew, was far underground. Feeble candlelight flickered in the distance, off to his left. Water dripped down the gleaming walls and startled rats scurried past his feet. The air was stale and unpleasant. Down the corridor to his left, he could hear singing but could not make out the words. Then suddenly, from his right, he heard a woman's high-pitched scream, its sound caroming off the wet, stone walls of the passageway. He jumped, his skin crawling at the back of his neck. And found himself back in his warm and familiar room. ("I Shall Not Leave England Now")
Faeries began calling foul play, demanding Tamlin be released from the curse, calling her a liar. Through the haze, I saw Rhysand crouching by Tamlin. Not to help him, but to grab the- "You are all pigs - all scheming, filthy pigs." Then Rhysand was on his feet, my bloody knife in his hands. He launched himself in Amarantha, swift as a shadow, the ash dagger aimed at her throat. She lifted a hand - not even bothering to look - and he was blated back by a wall of white light. But the pain paused for a second, long enouth for me to see him hit the ground and rise again and lunge for her - with hands that now ended in talons. He slammed into the invisible wall Amarantha had raised around herself, and my pain flickered as she turned to him. "You traitorous piece of filfh, " she seethed at Rhysand. "You're just as bad as there human bestas." One by one, as if a hand were shoving them in, his talons pushed back into his skin, leaving blood in their wake. He swore, low and vicious. "You were planning this all along.
Sarah J. Maas
She looked around the room, glanced over him and Micah waited. Her Gaze passed him, then again. On the third pass she lingered as she continued to watch her, allowing his gaze to memorize those features just before her eyes met his. A jolt od power flashed through him. Her ligth blue eyes flickered with interest, fear, then interest again, as though she wasn't certain which she should feel. He let his gaze continue to hers, let his mind reach out to her, soothe her, ease her. He used his eyes rather than his expression to calm the fear that he knew he would be rising within her. Micah knew the power of a look. When two people touched from across a distance, that touch could be frightening, wary, or a stroke of gentleness. He stroked her gently. He never let his eyes dip below her chin; rather, he let himself take in every nuance of expression, every shift of each facial motion, the flicker of her lashes, the shadows in her eyes, the tension in her small body. She was like a little bird ready to fly. Poised at the edge of her seat.her body stiff and prepared to run. Easy, little bird, he thought, letting his thoughts touch his gaze. There is no pain here; there is no fear.
Michael grew silent, his gaze softening as he looked from me to Will, and a dim light of hope flickered in my heart. 'You would mourn for him.' 'Yes, I said. 'I would mourn him forever with a broken heart. This human soul has given me so many blessings and curses. I'm the only one of our kind who has ever felt the most perfect happiness and the truest sorrow - because of this soul. My love for my Guardian is one of those blessings. It's not a curse.' 'You can, ' I promised. 'Please trust me. I need all the help I can get, and that includes yours. If you kill my Guardian, then I will never forgive you. I can't be at war with you too. Please, please, Michael, my brother. Don't kill him... A tear caught on the edge of my lips. 'Do you love me as your sister?' His mouth opened to reply, but nothing came out. 'It's okay, ' I whispered. 'You're worried about me, because you love me. Don't be afraid of feeling anything. our Father made us this way. He wouldn't make a mistake.' 'I... , ' Michael said, and emotion spilled over his face. His brow furrowed with exhaustion and he seemed overwhelmed by what he felt. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again. 'You are my sister, Gabriel.' 'Then don't do this.' I begged him. He was quiet again for several agonising moments, returning to his emotionless state. 'Keep him. I have faith in you, Sister. Will and I breathed sighs of relief, but it was a few seconds before Michael withdrew his sword. His expression remained unchanging as he lifted Will's death warrant.
Courtney Allison Moulton
Jerusalem! My Love, My Town I wept until my tears were dry I prayed until the candles flickered I knelt until the floor creaked I asked about Mohammed and Christ Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets The shortest path between earth and sky Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws A beautiful child with fingers charred and downcast eyes You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet Your streets are melancholy Your minarets are mourning You, the young maiden dressed in black Who rings the bells at the Nativity Church, On sunday morning? Who brings toys for the children On Christmas eve? Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow A big tear wandering in the eye Who will halt the aggression On you, the pearl of religions? Who will wash your bloody walls? Who will safeguard the Bible? Who will rescue the Quran? Who will save Christ, From those who have killed Christ? Who will save man? Oh Jerusalem my town Oh Jerusalem my love Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom And the olive trees will rejoice Your eyes will dance The migrant pigeons will return To your sacred roofs And your children will play again And fathers and sons will meet On your rosy hills My town The town of peace and olives
He saw two stars collapse against one another and a nova form; it flared up and then, as he watched, it began to die out. He saw it turn from a furiously blazing ring into a dim core of dead iron and then he saw it cool into darkness. More stars cooled with it; he saw the force of entropy, the method of the Destroyer of Forms, retract the stars into dull reddish coals and then into dust-like silence. A shroud of thermal energy hung uniformly over the world, over this strange and little world for which he had no love or use. It's dying, he realized. The universe. The thermal haze spread on and on until it became only a disturbance, nothing more; the sky glowed weakly with it and then flickered. Even the uniform thermal disbursement was expiring. How strange and goddamn awful, he thought. He got to his feet, moved a step toward the door. And there, on his feet, he died. They found him an hour later. Seth Morley stood with his wife at the far end of the knot of people jammed into the small room and said to himself, "to keep him from helping with the prayer". "The same force that shut down the transmitter, " Ignatz Thugg said. "They knew; they knew if he phrased the prayer it would go through. Even without the relay." He looked gray and frightened. All of them did, Seth Morley noticed. Their faces, in the light of the room, had a leaden, stone-like cast. Like, he thought, thousand-year-old idols. Time, he thought, is shutting down around us. It is as if the future is gone, for all of us.
Philip K. Dick
The land around Ankh-Morpork is fertile and largely given over to the cabbage fields that help to give the city its distinctive odor. The gray light of pre-dawn unrolled over the blue-green expanse, and around a couple of farmers who were making an early start on the spinach harvest. They looked up, not at a sound, but at a travelling point of silence where sound ought to have been. It was a man and a woman and something like a size five man in a size twelve fur coat, all in a chariot that flickered as it moved. It bowled along the road toward Holy Wood and was soon out of sight. A minute or two later it was followed by a wheelchair. Its axle glowed red-hot. It was full of people screaming at one another. One of them was turning a handle on a box. It was so overburdened that wizards occasionally fell off and ran along after it, shouting, until they had a chance to jump on again and start screaming. Whoever was attempting to steer was not succeeding, and it weaved back and forth across the road and eventually hurtled off it completely and through the side of a barn. One of the farmers nudged the other. "Oi've seen this on the clicks, " he said. "It's always the same. They crash into a barn and they allus comes out the other side covered in squawking chickens." His companion leaned reflectively on his hoe. "It'd be a sight worth seeing that, " he said. "Sure would." "'Cos all there is in there, boy, is twenty ton of cabbage." There was a crash, and the chair erupted from the barn in a shower of chickens and headed madly toward the road. The farmers looked at one another. "Well, dang me, " said one of them.
Hello, darling, ' Alessandro smiled at her. Oh, that smile. Bree wanted to close her eyes, press her hands against her eyes and keep them shut forever so she wouldn't see that smile. She must have had the question on her face, the knowledge on her face because as she looked at him now, something flickered in his eyes. Guilt. Oh God. 'Mommy, look. I make good bouncies. See?' Will said, dribbling the ball. 'I gonna be a basset ball player when I gwoed up.' The little boy's voice sounded far away as Bree narrowed in on Alessandro and the look in his eyes. 'Brian. I want you and Vanessa to take Will and Gianni out for a little while.' 'Oh but we're having a good time out here, aren't we Gianni?' Alessandro asked, tickling Gianni who squealed and curled inward. 'Now, ' Bree said, her voice tight. Will stopped bouncing the ball and held it against his chest looking at both of them, picking up on the angry tension that suddenly covered them all. 'Uh oh. I tink mommy's mad.' 'I'm not leaving you alone in your condition, Bree. Alessandro, we just came from the hospital. Colin's awake, ' Brian informed him, his voice tight with anger. 'You spoke to Colin?' Alessandro asked, meeting Bree's eyes. 'I did. And Carrie.' He looks like a cornered animal. And what do Dardanos do when they're cornered? They lie. They cheat. Oh God. 'Fine, then can you just take the boys upstairs?' Bree said, speaking to Brian, but not moving her gaze from her husband. 'Come on, guys. Let's go play upstairs for a while, ' Vanessa said walking past Bree and taking Gianni from Alessandro's lap.
Two kisses in one kiss was all it took, a comfort, a warmth, perhaps temporary, perhaps false, but reassuring nonetheless, and mine, and theirs, ours, all three of us giggling, insane giggles and laughter with still more kisses on the way, and I remember a brief instant then, out of the blue, when I suddenly glimpsed my own father, a rare but oddly peaceful recollection, as if he actually approved of my play in the way he himself had always laughed and played, great updrafts of light, burning off distant plateaus of bistre & sage, throwing him up like an angel, high above the red earth, deep into the sparkling blank, the tender sky that never once let him down, preserving his attachment to youth, propriety and kindness, his plane almost, but never quite, outracing his whoops of joy, trailing him in his sudden turn to the wind, followed then by a near vertical climb up to the angles of the sun, and I was barely eight and still with him and yes, that was the thought that flickered madly through me, a brief instant of communion, possessing me with warmth and ageless ease, causing me to smile again and relax as if memory alone could lift the heart like the wind lifts a wing, and so I renewed my kisses with even greater enthusiasm, caressing and in turn devouring their dark lips, dark with wine and fleeting love, an ancient memory love had promised but finally never gave, until there were too many kisses to count or remember, and the memory of love proved not love at all and needed a replacement, which our bodies found, and then the giggles subsided, and the laughter dimmed, and darkness enfolded all of us and we gave away our childhood for nothing and we died and condoms littered the floor and Christina threw up in the sink and Amber chuckled a little and kissed me a little more, but in a way that told me it was time to leave.
Mark Z. Danielewski