So, " she says, "What's got you so busy?" "What?" he says, "Oh, um, I was trying to perfect my telepathy." Grace gasps and bulges her eyes out very wide. "Are... you okay?" he asks, finally, after she shows no signs of stopping. "I'm pushing a thought towards you, obviously." "Oh, " Kellan says, "Well I guess I'm not a telepath after all.
Ethan chuckled and pulled his child close. "However, it might be nice if you gave your Uncle Satan blue skin tomorrow. He would love that." The gasps in the room were hilarious. My Vampyre was evil to the core... I bit my lip to keep from screaming or laughing. Satan would look awesome as a Smurf. I needed to make sure my phone was charged so I could get some good blackmail shots.
Steel screams when it's forged, it gasps when it's quenched. It creaks when it goes under load. I think even steel is scared, son. Take half an hour to think? A drink of water? A drink of wind? Totter off awhile. If it makes you seasick, then prudently vomit. If it makes you terrified, scream. If it makes you anything, pray.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
Hey, it's not a problem, " she says, still smiling at me. "If you feel bad about it, pay me in cocoa and I'll do it with you all night if you want." Craig bursts out laughing and Maria looks up at him confused. I groan and press my face into my good hand. Even in college, we're still just a bunch of children sometimes. "What's so... eew!" gasps Maria as she finally gets it. Her face turns red as she covers her mouth with her hands to stifle her giggling.
It hurts, ' Summer cries, head shaking back and forth. 'Please, make it stop.' Sweat beads on her forehead. 'What hurts?' Cameron asks. 'My eyes.' Summer's eyes open. Everyone gasps. They're no longer blue; they appear bionic, like a circuit board's inside her eyes. Panicked now, Summer reaches for her face. 'What is it? What's wrong?
Goose pimples rose all over me, my hair stood on end, my eyes filled with tears of love and gratitude for this greatest of all conquerors of human misery and shame, and my breath came in little gasps. If I had not known that the Leader would have scorned such adulation, I might have fallen to my knees in unashamed worship, but instead I drew myself to attention, raised my arm in the eternal salute of the ancient Roman Legions and repeated the holy words, "Heil Hitler!"
George Lincoln Rockwell
What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you've read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You've read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He's not only read your story...he wrote it.
Just one caress became a symphony of passion, insatiable longing, an unquenchable desire to possess... Gasps... The sparkling touch, embrace make hard to breathe... A mere short burst of brilliance, explosive need... forbidden sweet... Beneath the warmth of a dancing rainbow summer sunset, slowly tuning into the magic night with the stars flooding the sapphire skies... the sacred emerald island wildlife listens to our song, played with loving fingertips, reflected in diving deep into each other's ocean eyes.
September tried to show her sternness. It was becoming a habit. She could show her sternness and think about this another time, when it was quiet and no new red Moon turned somersaults in the sky. But when she reached for her sternness, all September found in her heart was the bar of a trapeze, swinging wild, inviting her to catch it... She leaned up and kissed her Marid and hoped it was the right thing. Her heart caught the bar and swung out, swung wild, over the lights and the gasps below, reaching for a pair of sure blue hands in the air and willing them to find hers.
Catherynne M. Valente
Let us accept the possibility that there is, at death, not an abrupt cessation of energy, rather a dispersal. This seems more than reasonable to me. Mind you, I've owned a series of old cars, and I"m used to turning off the motor only to experience a series of rumblings and explosions that would shame many a volcano. This is the sort of thing I'm conceptualizing, a kind of clunky running-on. And just as some cars are more susceptible to this behavior, so people vary in the length of time, and the force with which, their energy sputters and gasps... My example is overly dramatic, but it is not wholly unreasonable, and it serves to make this genetic mutation a player at the evolutionary table. You see what I'm getting at: a biologically and evolutionally sound model for the soul. (I didn't say I'd achieved it.) Let's conceive of the soul as an aura that human beings wear on their backs, cumberson as a tortoise's carapace. Some are larger than others.
A silent Library is a sad Library. A Library without patrons on whom to pile books and tales and knowing and magazines full of up-to-the-minute politickal fashions and atlases and plays in pentameter! A Library should be full of exclamations! Shouts of delight and horror as the wonders of the world are discovered or the lies of the heavens are uncovered or the wild adventures of devil-knows-who sent romping out of the pages. A Library should be full of now-just-a-minutes and that-can't-be-rights and scientifick folk running skelter to prove somebody wrong. It should positively vibrate with laughing at comedies and sobbing at tragedies, it should echo with gasps as decent ladies glimpse indecent things and indecent ladies stumble upon secret and scandalous decencies! A Library should not shush; it should roar!
Catherynne M. Valente
I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His suffering and death lose all value in their eyes, 'because it must have been so easy for him.' Others may (very rightly) rebuke the ingratitude and ungraciousness of this objection; what staggers me is the misunderstanding it betrays. In one sense, of course, those who make it are right. They have even understated their own case. The perfect submission, the perfect suffering, the perfect death were not only easier to Jesus because he was God, but were possible only because He was God. But surely that is a very odd reason for not accepting them? The teacher is able to form the letters for the child because the teacher is grown-up and knows how to write. That, of course, makes it easier for the teacher; and only because 'it's easy for grown ups' and waited to learn writing from another child who could not write itself (and so had no 'unfair' advantage), it would not get on very quickly. If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) 'No, it's not fair! You have an advantage! You're keeping one foot on the bank? That advantage-call it 'unfair' if you like-is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?
Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honour he did not covet, but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag. Like the parched traveler in the wilderness, whose skin bottle is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die - he must have his God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable for a sense of the divine presence... Give him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath, or pants with long running. Dear friend, dost thou know what this is, by personally having felt the same? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord's love is to be unhappy till we have it, and to pant hourly after it - hourly, did I say? Thirst is a perpetual appetite, and not to be forgotten, and even thus continually is the heart's longing after God. When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is well with our souls, however painful our feelings
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Where's your car? Miles asks, glancing at him as he slams his door shut and slings his backpack over his shoulder. "And whats up with your hand?" "I got rid of it, " Damen says, gaze fixed on mine. Then glancing at Miles and seeing his expression he adds, "The car, not the hand." "Did you trade it in?" I ask, but only because Miles is listening. [... ] He shakes his head and walks me to the gate, smiling as he says, "No, I just dropped off on the side of the road, key in the ignition, engine running." "Excuse me?!" Miles yelps. "You mean to tell me that you left your shiny, black, BMW M6 Coupe-by the side of the road?" Damen nods. But thats a hundred-thousand-dollar car!" Miles gasps as his face turns bright red. "A hundreds and ten." Damen laughs. "Don't forget, it was fully customized and loaded with options." Miles stares at him, eyes practically bugging out of his head, unable to comprehend how anyone could do such a thing-why anyone would do such a thing. "Um, okay, so let me get this straight-you just woke up and decided-Hey, what the hell? I think I'll just dump my ridiculously expensive luxury car by the side of the road-WHERE JUST ANYONE CAN TAKE IT?" Damen shrugs. "Pretty much." "Because in case you haven't noticed, " Miles says, practically hyperventilating now. "Some of us are a little car deprived. Some of us were born with parents so cruel and unusual they're forced to rely on the kindness of friends for the rest of their lives!" "Sorry." Damen shrugs. "Guess I hadn't thought about that. Though if it makes you feel any better, it was all for a very good cause.
He's close enough now that I can hear his footfall on the pavement, and I know my chances of outrunning him are slim. I'm practically in a full sprint, and my pounding heart is begging me to take it down a notch. I try to will my feet to keep pace with its beat; but I think it's humanly impossible to run that fast. And then it dawns on me that my footsteps are the only ones I hear. Somewhere along the way, Tristan's must have come to a stop. And I can't quite explain why I'm running this fast in the first place. I slow to a jog, intending to just pick up with my original pace; but I can't seem to suck in breaths fast enough to propel my feet any further. My molten shoes stutter to a stop, as my hands come to rest on my knees. I'm still wheezily sucking in breath after breath of thick, humid air, when I warily turn to look over my shoulder. Tristan's standing about fifty feet back, hands on his hips and a completely flummoxed twist in his forehead, his chest rising and falling with equally winded gasps. Evidently I was running faster than I gave myself credit for. As he silently watches me, regaining his breath as I do mine, the confusion on his face turns to undeniable hurt (and not the physical kind). I've wounded him, and I can't even explain why. Man, I really am an ass. I start the slow walk of shame back to where he stands, one hand upon my hip as I pull in a few more calming deep breaths. I'm debating whether to concoct some excuse for my behavior... Maybe I left my contacts out today, and didn't recognize his face? Who would blame me for running for my life, if a stranger seemed to be following me? But as I amble closer-his wrinkled forehead already fading in the wake of a welcoming smile-I decide not to dig myself a deeper hole. I'm already a straight-up jerk. I'd rather not add lying to my repertoire.
There were days so clear and skies so brilliant blue, with white clouds scudding across them like ships under full sail, and she felt she could lift right off the ground. One moment she was ambling down a path, and the next thing she knew, the wind would take hold of her, like a hand pushing against her back. Her feet would start running without her even willing it, even knowing it. And she would run faster and faster across the prairie, until her heart jumped like a rabbit and her breath came in deep gasps and her feet barely skimmed the ground. It felt good to spend herself this way. The air tasted fresh and delicious; it smelled like damp earth, grass, and flowers. And her body felt strong, supple, and hungry for more of everything life could serve up. She ran and felt like one of the animals, as though her feet were growing up out of the earth. And she knew what they knew, that sometimes you ran just because you could, because of the way the rush of air felt on your face and how your legs reached out, eating up longer and longer patches of ground. She ran until the blood pounded in her ears, so loud that she couldn't hear the voices that said, You're not good enough, You're not old enough, You're not beautiful or smart or loveable, and you will always be alone. She ran because there were ghosts chasing her, shadows that pursued her, heartaches she was leaving behind. She was running for her life, and those phantoms couldn't catch her, not here, not anywhere. She would outrun fear and sadness and worry and shame and all those losses that had lined up against her like a column of soldiers with their guns shouldered and ready to fire. If she had to, she would outrun death itself. She would keep on running until she dropped, exhausted. Then she would roll over onto her back and breathe in the endless sky above her, sun glinting off her face. To be an animal, to have a body like this that could taste, see hear, and fly through space, to lie down and smell the earth and feel the heat of the sun on your face was enough for her. She did not need anything else but this: just to be alive, cool air caressing her skin, dreaming of Ivy and what might be ahead.
He slouches, ' DeeDee contributes. 'True-he needs to work on his posture, ' Thelma says. 'You guys, ' I say. 'I'm serious, ' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?' 'You guys. We are not getting married!' 'I love his eyes, ' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair-wouldn't that be fabulous?' 'The thing is, ' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part-but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?' I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!' 'I'm sorry-what?' Thelma says. Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl! But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'-I raise my voice-'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!' Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles. 'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous. 'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around, ' I announce. A person of the male persuasion clears his throat. 'Definitely not turning around, ' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me. 'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out, ' the person of the male persuasion says. 'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?' 'DeeDee!' Jolene says. 'Both, ' says the male-persuasion person. I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave. 'Um, hi, ' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.' Warm fingers clasp my own. 'Pleased to meet you, ' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.' 'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!' I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants. Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter. He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line. Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder. 'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?' 'You improve his posture!' Jolene says. 'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire, ' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.' 'I can't believe you waved at him, ' DeeDee says. 'Your hand was like a little periscope, ' Jolene says. 'Or, no-like a white surrender flag.' 'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.' 'Oh, please, ' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
Without thinking, I step a little closer, reaching out slowly to slide a fingertip over the largest petal of the lily tattoo on her lower back. Instantly a vibration moves up my arm, and I swear the mark on my hand burns against my skin. I clench my fingers into a fist, but I don't step away. 'Did you feel that?' she asks. I shake my head. 'I don't know.' I feel so much, always so much. She takes my hand and brings it to her side again, resting it on the violets. I look at the purple flowers between my fingers and feel the heat of her skin, the way it slides beneath my palm, soft as silk. And that vibration moves through my arm again. Her breath quickens. I find myself moving closer as her blue eyes go wide with wonder. My heart stutters and my chest aches with some unknown need. 'Are you doing this?' I ask. Is she making me want this? 'No, ' she breathes. The smell of her turns to spice, sharp and warm, and I know I'm sensing her now, even through the block in the house. We stand like that for an eternity, still as statues on the outside, but inside I'm running, running toward a place I've never been. I should be terrified. But all I feel is strength. Rightness. And then Kara moves, her hands skimming up my chest, testing the boundaries. Her palms slide to my shoulders, her fingers tracing the line of the muscles in my arms, down to my waist. She grips my shirt, stretching it a little, waiting for me to tell her to stop. But I watch her lift it, let her pull it up, raising my arms, and I even take the last of it off myself, dropping it to the floor. We breathe, staring at each other. The vibrations move between us. My left arm buzzes with them. I think she's doing it. Whatever's happening, it's her. I reach up and brush my marked knuckles across her cheek, amazed at the feel of her, the way her eyes seem to see everything, the way she pulls me into her. I can't seem to remember why I shouldn't kiss her. And kiss her. And... I kiss her, taking her face in both hands, skimming my thumb over her jaw as she leans into the touch, reaching out to curl her fingers around the back of my neck. I have to remind myself to breathe. I need more of her. The emotions roll over me in a rush, a tangle of sensation and movement, heat and sugar and heady aromas. I grip her tighter. Her nails dig into my shoulders. My hands slide down her spine. The kiss deepens, goes on forever, until I can barely see sense. I explore her shape, the feel of her ribs, the textures and taste of her skin on my tongue as I kiss her neck, her shoulders, her chest. As I draw trembling gasps from her lips, she grips me so hard it hurts. Our bodies mesh. Our breath mingles in frenzied desperation. Nothing else exists except her. Her warmth. Her spice. Her.
Rachel A. Marks
Seven years ago tonight, every dream I ever had came true. That's not something too many men get to claim. I'm very lucky, blessed, whichever you believe. Probably a lot of both. Tonight marks the anniversay of my debut performance at Caesars Palace." On his cue, the crowd whipped into congratulatory rapture. Blindsided by his recollection, Isabel was motionless. That's what he recalls happening on this date? "Indulgent, lazy, self-centered... jerk!" she said, grabbing her purse, thinking she'd climb over the seat. "I'm going home!" Before she could turn, hoisting herself over, a spotlight landed on her. In the darkened arena Aidan and Isabel were face-to-face. He stared. The same way he did years ago in his pickup truck, holding tight to her wrist, the same way he did on the dance floor at the gala. The same way he did the moment she left him. "If you can believe it, " he said, still staring, "something even more improtant happened that day. As dreams of fame and fortune go, this topped everything. I've always known that." Then, in a softer voice: "And I'm a fool because I should have never given up." Even from her vantage point, Isabel could see the gulp roll through his throat. "It's my great privilege this evening to introduce my wife, Isabel Royce." He gestured to the box. Isabel responded by sinking to her seat. "What's he talking about?" she hissed to Mary Louise. "We're divorced!" From her right, Tanya nudged her. It was like being on a palace balcony, Isabel offering a deer-in-the-headlights wave to the subjects, a thoroughly baffled look at Aidan. In return, he smiled at her clear confusion. "My wife... " "Why is he calling me that?" There was a mixed reaction, lots of gasps, some applause, and the disappointed groans of female fans. "She's done me the tremendous honor of making a rare appearance at one of my shows. Seven years ago, she agreed to marry me. At the time, my life was more trouble than promise. We were just two scared kids who had nothing but each other. Really, it was all I needed. We were married in true Vegas fashion." Hoots and hollers echoed, his glance dropping to the stage floor. Sharing this was making the performer uncomfortable. He pushed on. "While most women would have been satisfied with a ring... " His long fingers fluttered over the snake. "This was Isabel's idea of a permanent bond." It drew a wave of subtle laughter, Isabel included "Do you remember how the story went?" he said, speaking only to Isabel in a crow of thousands. "As long as I had it, I'd never be without you. Turns out, it wasn't a story, it was the absolute truth. Lately though, " he said, turning back to his public narrative, "circumstance, some serious, some calculated, has prevented me from getting my wife's attention. So tonight I resorted to an old performer's trick, a captive audience. I planned this moment, Isabel, knowing you'd be here. Regardless of anything you may believe, I meant what I said on our wedding night, in the moment I said it. I love you. I always have.
The 1950s and 1960s: philosophy, psychology, myth There was considerable critical interest in Woolf 's life and work in this period, fuelled by the publication of selected extracts from her diaries, in A Writer's Diary (1953), and in part by J. K. Johnstone's The Bloomsbury Group (1954). The main critical impetus was to establish a sense of a unifying aesthetic mode in Woolf 's writing, and in her works as a whole, whether through philosophy, psychoanalysis, formal aesthetics, or mythopoeisis. James Hafley identified a cosmic philosophy in his detailed analysis of her fiction, The Glass Roof: Virginia Woolf as Novelist (1954), and offered a complex account of her symbolism. Woolf featured in the influential The English Novel: A Short Critical History (1954) by Walter Allen who, with antique chauvinism, describes the Woolfian 'moment' in terms of 'short, sharp female gasps of ecstasy, an impression intensified by Mrs Woolf 's use of the semi-colon where the comma is ordinarily enough'. Psychological and Freudian interpretations were also emerging at this time, such as Joseph Blotner's 1956 study of mythic patterns in To the Lighthouse, an essay that draws on Freud, Jung and the myth of Persephone.4 And there were studies of Bergsonian writing that made much of Woolf, such as Shiv Kumar's Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel (1962). The most important work of this period was by the French critic Jean Guiguet. His Virginia Woolf and Her Works (1962); translated by Jean Stewart, 1965) was the first full-length study ofWoolf 's oeuvre, and it stood for a long time as the standard work of critical reference in Woolf studies. Guiguet draws on the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre to put forward a philosophical reading of Woolf; and he also introduces a psychobiographical dimension in the non-self.' This existentialist approach did not foreground Woolf 's feminism, either. his heavy use of extracts from A Writer's Diary. He lays great emphasis on subjectivism in Woolf 's writing, and draws attention to her interest in the subjective experience of 'the moment.' Despite his philosophical apparatus, Guiguet refuses to categorise Woolf in terms of any one school, and insists that Woolf has indeed 'no pretensions to abstract thought: her domain is life, not ideology'. Her avoidance of conventional character makes Woolf for him a 'purely psychological' writer.5 Guiguet set a trend against materialist and historicist readings ofWoolf by his insistence on the primacy of the subjective and the psychological: 'To exist, for Virginia Woolf, meant experiencing that dizziness on the ridge between two abysses of the unknown, the self and