Because you're exactly like me- you don't want your whole life planned out. You're tired of following Talon's rules, of not having any say in your future. You want to know who Talon really is, but it's even more than that, isn't it? You want to be free." His eyes gleamed, golden and brilliant in the shadows. "And I can show you how.
Under the moon, the road that ran from the edge of her forest gleamed like water, but when she stepped out onto it, away from the trees, she felt how hard it was, and how long. She almost turned back then; but instead she took a deep breath of the woods air that still drifted to her, and held it in her mouth like a flower, as long as she could.
Peter S. Beagle
What I wanted was to get away. But the moon was too far beyond, and there were white bits under me, where the flesh was shredded off and the bone gleamed that famed ivory, and those below cowered and, if they were not quick enough, were spattered in blood. Then came the jolt, as of a fall, and I saw the leg was caught in an ungainly way in the smaller branches of a mutamba tree, the foot hooked, long like that infamous fruit.
He's a cousin of some friends of the Lightwoods or something. He's nice. I promise." "Nice, bah. He's gorgeous." Magnus gazed dreamily in his direction. "You should leave him here. I could hang hats on him and things." "No. You can't have him." "Why not? Do you like him?" Magnus's eyes gleamed. "He seems to like you. I saw him going for your hand out there like a squirrel diving for a peanut.
The thorn tree just began to bud And greening stained the sheltering hedge, An many a violet beside the wood Peeped blue between the withered sedge; The sun gleamed warm the bank beside, 'Twas pleasant wandering out a while Neath nestling bush to lonely hide, Or bend a musings o'er a stile.
The eyes were hollow and the carven head was broken, but about the high, stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevices of his stony hair yellow stonecrop gleamed. "They cannot conquer for ever!" said Frodo.
J. R. R. Tolkien
The moon had risen behind him, the color of a shark's underbelly. It lit the ruined walls, and the skin of his arms and hands, with its sickly light, making him long for a mirror in which to study his face. Surely he'd be able to see the bones beneath the meat; the skull gleaming the way his teeth gleamed when he smiled. After all, wasn't that what a smile said? Hello, world, this is the way I'll look when the wet parts are rotted.
He glanced at her, his hair wild and his eyes red. 'May I give ye pleasure?' Still a gentleman. Emma smiled. But his voice sounded gruff and his appearance was that of an untamed barbarian. She grabbed handfuls of his hair and pulled his head close to hers. 'Make me scream.' His eyes gleamed hotter. 'Ye will. Many times ere the night is over.
Like a shot from a movie, the morning sun shone brilliantly around him like a god-his dark hair glinted warmly in the light, and his eyes gleamed bluer than the south Pacific Ocean. Taylor's mind went blank. And suddenly, she couldn't remember why the hell she ever had been angry with Jason Andrews. But then he spoke. "Sleeping in this morning, Ms. Donovan?" he drawled. Moment over.
When he appeared before the lord, his lordship was smitten immediately with the boy's unadorned beauty, like a first glimpse of the moon rising above a distant mountain. The boy's hair gleamed like the feathers of a raven perched silently on a tree, and his eyes were lovely as lotus flowers. One by one his other qualities became apparent, from his nightingale voice to his gentle disposition, as obedient and true as a plum blossom.
It had grown darker now; it was full night already, with the swiftness of the mountainous latitudes. The square of sky over the patio was soft and dark as indigo velour, with magnificent stars like many-legged silver spiders festooned on its underside. Below them the white roses gleamed phosphorescently in the starlight, with a magnesium-like glow. There was a tiny splash from the depths of the well as a pebble or grain of dislodged earth fell in. ("The Moon Of Montezuma")
Deep silence fell about the little camp, planted there so audaciously in the jaws of the wilderness. The lake gleamed like a sheet of black glass beneath the stars. The cold air pricked. In the draughts of night that poured their silent tide from the depths of the forest, with messages from distant ridges and from lakes just beginning to freeze, there lay already the faint, bleak odors of coming winter. ("The Wendigo")
Days and nights passed over this despair of flesh, but one morning he awoke, looked (with calm now) at the blurred things that lay about him, and felt, inexplicably, the way one might feel upon recognizing a melody or a voice, that all this had happened to him before and that he had faced it with fear but also with joy and hopefulness and curiosity. Then he descended into his memory, which seemed to him endless, and managed to draw up from that vertigo the lost remembrance that gleamed like a coin in the rain - perhaps because he had never really looked at it except (perhaps) in a dream.
Jorge Luis Borges
Gray clouds were charging across tissues of white, which stretched and shredded and tore slowly, until through their final layers there gleamed a hint of the disappearing blue. Summer was retreating. The wind roared, the trees groaned, yet the noise seemed insufficient for those vast operations in heaven. The weather was breaking up, breaking, broken, and it is a sense of the fit rather than of the supernatural that equips such crises with the salvos of angelic artillery.
Carefully squeezing through the forest of adults that crowded the aisles, feeling like an intruder in a forbidden temple, he cautiously pushed deeper into the newsstand and found a new paperback by a writer whose novel about vampires he had read and reread until the cover was falling apart. There had been an all-black cover on the vampire book. This new one gleamed like polished chrome. It was called THE SHINING, but it cost $2.50 and he had spent all but $1.25 of his weekly allowance on some STAR WARS stuff at the mall.
C. Dean Andersson
Did you dream of me?" he asked. "Yes," she admitted grudgingly. She had. She'd dreamed of his hands caressing her, of his mouth devouring her. His lush lips inched into a surprised but pleased smile. "You were naked," she told him. His grin spread; his eyes gleamed with satisfaction. "And tied up..." He arched his eye brows in smug expectation. "I did not know the idea of bondage would please you." "Oh, I love the idea of typing you up." She paused dramatically. "Just like in my dream, you'll be secured to an ant-hill and the little things will eat you alive.
He beat back the Greeks and reclaimed Rome for our people. Indeed, he was the one who destroyed the Macedonian threat and who single-handedly annihilated the greatest Greek general who had ever lived. Kyrian of Thrace." Real hatred gleamed in his eyes, but she wasn't sure who it was meant for. His grandfather or Kyrian. "You mean Kyrian Hunter?" she asked. "The guy with the minivan who lives a few blocks over?" Valerius's eyes sparked at that. "He's driving a minivan?" There was no mistaking the humor in his tone.
Images flashed through his mind. He saw Nico and his sister on a snowy mountain cliff in Maine, Percy Jackson protecting them from the manticore. Percy's sword gleamed in the dark. He'd been the first demigod Nico had ever seen in action. Later at Camp Half-Blood, Percy took Nico by the arm, promising to keep his sister Bianca safe. Nico believed him. Nico looked into his sea-green eyes and though, How can he possibly fail? This is a real hero.
The road was wet with rain, black and shiny like oilskin. The reflection of the street lamps wallowed like yellow jelly-fish. A bus was approaching - a bus to Piccadilly, a bus to the never-never land - a bus to death or glory. I found neither. I found something which haunts me still. The great bus swayed as it sped. The black street gleamed. Through the window a hundred faces fluttered by as though the leaves of a dark book were being flicked over. And I sat there, with a sixpenny ticket in my hand. What was I doing! Where was I going? ("Same Time, Same Place")
It was at a concert of lovely old music. After two or three notes of the piano the door was opened of a sudden to the other world. I sped through heaven and saw God at work. I suffered holy pains. I dropped all my defences and was afraid of nothing in the world. I accepted all things and to all things I gave up my heart. It did not last very long, a quarter of an hour perhaps; but it returned to me in a dream at night, and since, through all the barren days, I caught a glimpse of it now and then. Sometimes for a minute or two I saw it clearly, threading my life like a divine and golden track. But nearly always it was blurred in dirt and dust. Then again it gleamed out in golden sparks as though never to be lost again and yet was soon quite lost once more.
Filled with rapture, his soul yearned for freedom, space, vastness. Over him the heavenly dome, full of quiet, shining stars, hung boundlessly. From the zenith to the horizon the still-dim Milky Way stretched its double strand. Night, fresh and quiet, almost unstirring, enveloped the earth. The white towers and golden domes of the church gleamed in the sapphire sky. The luxuriant autumn asleep till morning. The silence of the earth seemed to merge with the silence of the heavens and the mystery of the earth touched the mystery of the stars.
What are you doing?' Celaena lifted another piece of paper. 'If His Pirateness can't be bothered to clean for us, then I don't see why I can't have a look.' 'He'll be here any second, ' Sam hissed. She picked up a flattened map, examining the dots and markings along the coastline of their continent. Something small and round gleamed beneath the map, and she slipped it into her pocket before Sam could notice. 'Oh, hush, ' she said, opening the hutch on the wall adjacent to the desk. 'With these creaky floors, we'll hear him a mile off.' The hutch was crammed with rolled scrolls, quills, the odd coin, and some very old, very expensive-looking brandy. She pulled out a bottle, swirling the amber liquid in the sunlight streaming through the tiny porthole window. 'Care for a drink?
Sarah J. Maas
Grip's favorite painting didn't contain a single figure. 'Seven A.M.' showed distant trees on one side, and on the other a storefront that time had passed by. So still. Some kind of story could probably be told, but one refrained from asking questions. The light and shadows convinced the viewer to exist in the moment. Hopper had drawn sharp lines where the sun cast shadows on the white walls inside the window, while outside the ground gleamed like warm sand. The hands of an old wall clock suggested that the time was seven. Someone who should have been there was somewhere else. Yet nothing was missing. With the morning light streaming down on the ground and in through the window, time might as well have stopped-so the clock always stood at seven. Just like that, a place where nothing ever changes.
Images flashed through his mind. He saw Nico and his sister on a snowy cliff in Maine, Percy Jackson protecting them from a manticore. Percy's sword gleamed in the dark. He'd been the first demigod Nico had ever seen in action. Later, at Camp Half-Blood, Percy took Nico by the arm, promising to keep his sister Bianca safe. Nico believed him. Nico looked into his sea-green eyes and thought, How can he possibly fail? This is a real hero. He was Nico's favorite game, Mythomagic, brought to life. Jason saw the moment when Percy returned and told Nico that Bianca was dead. Nico had screamed and called him a liar. He'd felt betrayed, but still... when the skeleton warriors attacked, he couldn't let them harm Percy. Nico had called on the earth to swallow them up, and then he'd run away- terrified of his own powers, and his own emotions.
It was a dead hole, smelling of synthetic leather and disinfectant, both of which odors seemed to emanate from the torn scratched material of the seats that lined the three walls. It smelled of the tobacco ashes which had flooded the two standing metal ashtrays. On the chromium lip of one, a cigar butt gleamed wetly like a chewed piece of beef. There was the smell of peanut shells and of the waxy candy wrappers that littered the floor, the smell of old newspapers, dry, inky, smothering and faintly like a urinal, the smell of sweat from armpits and groins and backs and faces, pouring out and drying up in the lifeless air, the smell of clothes-cleaning fluids imbedded in fabric and blooming horribly in the warm sweetish air, picking at the nostrils like thorns-all the exudations of the human flesh, a bouquet of animal being, flowing out, drying up, but leaving a peculiar and ineradicable odor of despair in the room as though chemistry was transformed into spirit, an ascension of a kind, ... Light issuing from spotlights in the ceiling was sour and blinding like a sick breath. There was in that room an underlying confusion in the function of the senses. Smell became color, color became smell. Mute started at mute so intently they might have been listening with their eyes, and hearing grew preternaturally acute, yet waited only for the familiar syllables of surnames. Taste died, mouth opened in the negative drowsiness of waiting.
It was almost a mystical experience. I do not know how else to put it. My mind outran time as he neared, and it was as though I had an eternity to ponder the approach of this man who was my brother. His garments were filthy, his face blackened, the stump of his right arm raised, gesturing anywhere. The great beast that he rode was striped, black and red, with a wild red mane and tail. But it really was a horse, and its eyes rolled and there was foam at its mouth and its breathing was painful to hear. I saw then that he wore his blade slung across his back, for its haft protruded high above his right shoulder. Still slowing, eyes fixed upon me, he departed the road, bearing slightly toward my left, jerked the reins once and released them, keeping control of the horse with his knees. His left hand went up in a salute-like movement that passed above his head and seized the hilt of his weapon. It came free without a sound, describing a beautiful arc above him and coming to rest in a lethal position out from his left shoulder and slanting back, like a single wing of dull steel with a minuscule line of edge that gleamed like a filament of mirror. The picture he presented was burned into my mind with a kind of magnificence, a certain splendor that was strangely moving. The blade was a long, scythe like affair that I had seen him use before. Only then we had stood as allies against a mutual foe I had begun to believe unbeatable. Benedict had proved otherwise that night. Now that I saw it raised against me I was overwhelmed with a sense of my own mortality, which I had never experienced before in this fashion. It was as though a layer had been stripped from the world and I had a sudden, full understanding of death itself.
It was said that the Old Folk controlled the power of fire, among other things, but that was in the Long and Long Ago. Before that, the fathers of the Old Folk caught a spark with flint and steel and their own desire to live. It was also said that the world was a great wheel, and everything came round to what it once had been, and so Steven Boughmount knelt in the snow with rocks in his hands, trying to catch a flame. He was having little luck. Just over the low hills, beyond this scrub of forest, the village was warm and sleeping behind its wall. That's where I should be, Steven thought as he scraped the edge of one rock against the other. Not in bed, not yet, but stretched out in my chair with my feet up, a pipe smoking just right in my hand and Heather curled up beside me. The boys are all asleep, but maybe we'll stay up for a while. Maybe we'll move to the bedroom, maybe not. That's where I should be, not up to my ass in snow trying to light a fire. 'C'mon, bastard, ' he said, and drug the sharp edge of the rock in his right hand against the flat of the one in his left. A white spark flew, and then died before it could reach the stripped branches and dried moss he had laid out on the frozen ground. Snow crunched somewhere off to the left of him. Steven heard soft, bare footsteps. They were coming, all right. And they were in a hurry, running toward a village protected by two drunks on either side of a leaning gate. That was why Steven sat in the snow. When the Guards slept, the Hunters went to work. And what sounded like a whole clan of goblins was passing him by because he couldn't get a damn fire lit. Steven drew his sword. It was called Fangodoom, given to him by his mother just before she died. Fangodoom was a dwarf blade, of steel mined and forged deep within the Lyme Mountains centuries ago. Goblins near, the blade all but gleamed though there wasn't any moon. Again he wondered if this would be the last time, and again he knew that if it was, it was. His hand turned into a fist on the hilt of his weapon, and he prayed. 'Lord, make me Your hammer.
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition - tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star... Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city - an old city, like London - underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly - past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple... click click click... the Pyramids... the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here, ' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know, ' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum... click click click... the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead, ' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted, ' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly, ' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me, ' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
The story was called 'Annika and the Bears.' The beginning of the story is really the end, and Annika is staring wide-eyed into new velvet-black darkness. The eyes she stares with were brown once, sparkling and the exact color of root beer, but are now an empty ice-blue, almost white. Annika is waiting for her body to grow warm so that she can fall asleep and, as she waits, she remembers life outside this darkness, remembers the world she loved and how it changed. Once, her home was called the Land of Spring and Fall because that's what it was, a place in which the seasons didn't turn in a circle, but moved like a seesaw, Fall becoming Spring becoming Fall becoming Spring. And there had been a moment every year when the seesaw hit a perfect balance. This was Annika's favorite time because blossoms burst from branches alongside red and gold leaves, crocuses opened between rows of corn, and baby animals were born under autumn skies. In the Land of Spring and Fall, it was never too cold or too hot to play outside; brooks never froze or dried up; leaves never fell from the trees; and people and animals never grew old or died. But when a witch appeared in the land, a witch who was furiously angry, but for no reason anyone could understand, and the witch cast a spell that plunged the land into a never-ending winter. In Winterland, terrible things began to happen. People and animals got sick, with wrenching coughs and burning fevers. Desperate for warmth, the people began to kill their friends the animals in order to wrap themselves in fur coats. Food became scarce, and everyone began to fight over what little there was. And strangest of all, one by one, every living, breathing creature in the land began to turn as white as chalk, as colorless as snow with no sun shining on it. One day, Annika sat at her window, looking sadly at the blank world, when she saw, trudging across the snow, her beloved friend John the bear and his family of bears. Some of the bears were white, some were a dull gray, but only John was still a rich chestnut brown. The bears walked with their immense heads hanging down and some of them cried, dropping tears onto the snow. Before they hit the ground, the tears turned to ice. Annika ran outside, calling John's name. He stopped and looked at her with his kind eyes and told her that they were going away, to a cave deep inside one of the high hills that surrounded Winterland. 'To sleep, ' he said. 'To wait.' Annika threw her arms around John, buried her face in his beautiful fur, and then stood and watched as the procession of bears patiently resumed their long journey. That night, Annika woke up with a start. She sat up in bed and saw that the hair falling over her shoulders was as white as milk, and she ran to the mirror. As she stared at her reflection, the pink began draining from her cheeks. 'Oh no, ' she whispered. 'It's happening. I'm turning into someone else. A winter girl.' In a flash, she had on her shoes and her thickest wool coat and was out the door. The trail of crystal tears the bears had left gleamed in what little moonlight could force its way through the clouds and, slogging through snow, cold eating into her bones, Annika followed the trail. When she got to the cave and moved away the rock that blocked the entrance, all the bears were asleep, except John. He rested his paw on the patch of soft dirt next to him. 'For you, dear heart, ' he said sleepily. Then he moved the rock into place and lay back down. Annika curled up between John and another bear, listening to their slow breathing, readying herself for sleep. The bears' bodies warmed her own from the outside in. The last thing to get warm was her heart, and then Annika fell asleep. The story ends this way: 'Imagine the deepest sleep you've ever slept. Multiply its deepness by the number of stars in the sky and the number of fish in the sea. Then you will know the sleep of Annika and the bears.
Marisa de los Santos