Roland glares at Connor and Connor glares back. Then he says what he always says at moments like this. "Nice socks." Although Roland doesn't look down right away, it derails him just enough for him to back off. He doesn't check to see if his socks match until he thinks Connor isn't looking. And the moment he does, Connor snickers. Small victories are bet ter than none.
That mercy towards one set of creatures was cruelty towards another sickened his sense of harmony. As you got older, and felt yourself to be at the center of your time, and not at a point in its circumference, as you had felt when you were little, you were seized with a sort of shuddering, he perceived. All around you there seemed to be something glaring, garish, rattling, and the noises and glares hit upon the little cell called your life, and shook it, and warped it.
I'm already waiting when Puck gets to the top of the cliffs. I'm not the only one; about two dozen race tourists have made perches out of rocks, watching Corr and me as closely as they dare. Puck glares at them all, searing enough that some of them flinch in surprise. I'm not certain what to expect from her after last night. I don't know how to address her. I don't know what she expects from me or what I expect from me. What I get is a wordless hello and a November cake in my hand.
Refusing to listen to him any longer, Julian backs up. 'Whenever you realize working together is in Summer's best interest, come find me, Boy Scout. Until then, I'll just pretend you don't exist.' Then he walks away. Gage glares at Julian's retreating form. His hand scrapes through his hair as he fumes. A guttural roar of rage crawls up his throat, and he kicks the sand. Damn him and his stupid logic. He's right. And Gage knows he's right. But that doesn't mean he has to like it.
Liz looks at the tissue box, which is decorated with drawings of snowmen engaged in various holiday activities. One of the snowmen is happily placing a smiling rack of gingerbread men in an oven. Baking gingerbread men, or any cooking for that matter, is probably close to suicide for a snowman, Liz thinks. Why would a snowman voluntarily engage in an activity that would in all likelihood melt him? Can snowmen even eat? Liz glares at the box.
When I shoot, the ball bounces hard against the backboard, and flies wildly through the air, knocking the coach in the head. I slap a hand over my mouth. The coach barely catches herself from falling. Several students laugh. She glares at me and readjusts her cap. With a small wave of apology, I head back to the end of the line. Will's there fighting laughter. "Nice, " he says. "Glad I'm downcourt of you." I cross my arms and resist smiling, resist letting myself feel good around him. But he makes it hard. I want to smile. I want to like him, to be around him, to know him. "Happy to amuse you.
We found Trent and pulled him off the leggy girl. 'Trent, it's time to get home before your parents realize we snuck out.' I said. 'What?' he asked confusedly. 'Plus the bouncer found out we were sixteen and he does not look happy.' Logan added. The girl froze, 'You're sixteen? What the hell. You little perv, you're going to pay for this.' Trent sputtered, 'What? No.' Logan looked at her all doe eyed innocence and said 'Sorry Ma'am, we have to get home now because it's past our curfew.' Trent stood open mouthed in shock but his eyes were shooting murderous rays. So many death glares, so little time.
You've already said that, ' Alex says. 'Why should I go?' 'You're the only person I have, ' I say. 'And I want us all to be together. It will be good for us.' 'Oh, so now I'm back in the picture again.' 'Alex. Something bigger than you is occurring right now. I'm sorry about your unhappy childhood.' She glares at me in that special way of hers and Joanie's that makes me feel worthless and foul-smelling. 'So we'll tell Scottie we're going on a vacation while Mom is in the hospital?' 'It's for a day or two, ' I say. 'Scottie's been in the hospital every day for almost a month now. She needs a break. It's not good for her. I'd like you to be in charge of answering any questions she may have. She looks up to you. She'll hang on whatever you say.' I'm hoping a leadership role, a specific chore, will make Alex act like an adult and treat Scottie well. 'Can you do that?' She shrugs. 'If you can't handle things, let me know. I'll help. I'm here for you.' Alex laughs. I wonder if there are parents who can say things to their kids like 'I love you' or 'I'm here for you' without being laughed at. I have to admit it's a bit uncomfortable. Affection, in general, is unpleasant to me. 'What if Mom doesn't make it for two days?' 'She will, ' I say. 'I'll tell her what we're doing.' Alex looks uncomfortable with this idea, that what I'll say will make her mother want to live. 'I'm bringing Sid, ' she says. 'If he doesn't come, then I'm not going.' I'm about to protest, but I see the look in her eyes and know this is yet another battle that I'm bound to lose. Something about this guy is helping her. And Scottie seems to like him. He can keep her distracted. He can work for me. 'Okay, ' I say. 'Deal.
Kaui Hart Hemmings
I was Mrs. Taylor yesterday.' I grin at Taylor, who flushes. 'That has a nice ring to it, Miss Steele, ' Taylor says matter-of-factly. 'I thought so, too.' Christian tightens his hold on my hand, scowling. 'If you two have quite finished, I'd like a debrief.' He glares at Taylor, who now looks uncomfortable, and I cringe inwardly. I have overstepped the mark. 'Sorry, ' I mouth at Taylor, who shrugs and smiles kindly before I turn to follow Christian. 'I'll be with you shortly. I just want a word with Miss Steele, ' Christian says to Taylor, and I know I'm in trouble. Christian leads me into his bedroom and closes the door. 'Don't flirt with the staff, Anastasia, ' he scolds. I open my mouth to defend myself-then close it again, then open it. 'I wasn't flirting. I was being friendly-there is a difference.' 'Don't be friendly with the staff or flirt with them. I don't like it.' Oh. Good-bye, carefree Christian. 'I'm sorry, ' I mutter and stare down at my fingers. He hasn't made me feel like a child all day. Reaching down he cups my chin, pulling my head up to meet his eyes. 'You know how jealous I am, ' he whispers. 'You have no reason to be jealous, Christian. You own me body and soul.
LITTLE BOY WAR He stands alone On a vacant road, Hands shaking from the cold. His heart is aching from the untold. Under his right arm Is a tattered bag, Which he holds tightly As if it were filled with gold. He's just six, Going on seven. And it's past ten, Going on eleven. He takes another toke From his cowboy smoke, And wishes he too Could have died with his brother And taken the ride to Heaven. His tummy rumbles and grumbles. He feels faint and tries hard not to stumble. His eyes scream with muted cries, Too loud for his tired soul to conjure enough energy To even mumble. Little kid scared, Alone in the middle of a war zone somewhere, Past curfew and without a clue As to what to do or to go where. He is just standing there with A shark's glazed and Lifeless stare. And yet, His eyes reveal a whirlpool of disaster, Just another tragic kid Who can't help growing up any faster. The streets are dark and it's just him, Standing in the shadow of a blinking ATM. He now thinks of his worn mother, And how she once took his torn shirt And lovingly sewn its hem back together. He never understood Why she had always told him: 'Buckle your sandals!' She used to call, 'Buckle them good So you walk right and Stand taller than them all!' So why did he feel so small? And why does he feel like he's about to fall? He kicks his little sandals At the sand Trying to understand What Uncle Sam And his freedom plan Had done to his once beautiful land. Babylon is crashing. In front of him, memories are flashing - Rubble, ash, blood, and dust, An empire once fueled with beauty and gust Now buried under artillery, bones, and rust. In the corner of his eye, He sees a tank suddenly appear He tries to focus on its lights Like a lost and rampant deer Then that chilling electric sound Cuts and pierces through his ears The tank stops. A lady emerges from its top, And examines the boy and sneers. She asks him what he is doing outside by himself And warns him that there are now new rules That all must adhere. But Little Boy War Glares without A drip of fear. He swings his precious bag high up in the air And cries: 'I'm not alone! Look! My mother is in here!' I watched from a distance Then turn away to disappear My heart felt like a cold rock And I couldn't control my tears. Behind my back And in my mind The little boy's Words echo forever So loud And clear: 'In here and always near. Her hands and heart are right here!