When she reaches down to touch his shoulder-a gesture only a few species and a million or so years removed from lifting a leg and marking him as her territory with a stream of urine-enough bracelets and bangles to lay track across the Australian Outback slide down her arm and come to a jangling stop at her wrist.
Before I was married, I thought the sound of bangles jangling on my forearms would be delightful. I looked forward to being able to wear bells around my ankles and silver necklaces around my neck, but not any more, not since I had learned what they represented for the man who gave them. A necklace was no prettier than a piece of of rope that ties a goat to a tree, depriving it of freedom.
Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move. Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful. Avoid running at all times. Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
If the souls of lives were voiced in music, there are some that none but a great organ could express, others the clash of a full orchestra, a few to which nought but the refined and exquisite sadness of a violin could do justice. Many might be likened unto common pianos, jangling and out of tune, and some to the feeble piping of a penny whistle, and mine could be told with a couple of nails in a rusty tin-pot.
There is a kind of laughter that sickens the soul. Laughter when it is out of control: when it screams and stamps its feet, and sets the bells jangling in the next town. Laughter in all its ignorance and cruelty. Laughter with the seed of Satan in it. It tramples upon shrines; the belly-roarer. It roars, it yells, it is delirious: and yet it is as cold as ice. It has no humor. It is naked noise and naked malice.
As the flowers follow the sun, and silently hold up their petals to be tinted and enlarged by its shining, so must we, if we would know the joy of God, hold our souls, wills, hearts, and minds, still before Him, whose voice commands, whose love warns, whose truth makes fair our whole being. God speaks for the most part in such silence only. If the soul be full of tumult and jangling voices, His voice is little likely to be heard.
I shake my head. I pick up the rake and start making the dead-leaf pile neater. A blister pops and stains the rake handle like a tear. Dad nods and walks to the Jeep, keys jangling in his fingers. A mockingbird lands on a low oak branch and scolds me. I rake the leaves out of my throat. Me: "Can you buy some seeds? Flower seeds?
Laurie Halse Anderson
Michael Koryta is that rare author who is at once a compelling story teller and a fantastic writer. From the first sentence of THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, you'll be under his spell. His characters are living, breathing people you'll care about; his setting is a place you'll visit and stay-long after you've decided to leave because you're scared. You can't leave; you're trapped. There are too many nerve-jangling, beautifully written, razor sharp moments and you won't want to miss a single one. This is an absolute sizzler.
January. It was all things. And it was one thing, like a solid door. Its cold sealed the city in a gray capsule. January was moments, and January was a year. January rained the moments down, and froze them in her memory: [...]Every human action seemed to yield a magic. January was a two-faced month, jangling like jester's bells, crackling like snow crust, pure as any beginning, grim as an old man, mysteriously familiar yet unknown, like a word one can almost but not quite define.
The busy chatter of the heat Shrilled like a parakeet; And shuddering at the noonday light The dust lay dead and white As powder on a mummy's face, Or fawned with simian grace Round booths with many a hard bright toy And wooden brittle joy: The cap and bells of Time the Clown That, jangling, whistled down Young cherubs hidden in the guise Of every bird that flies; And star-bright masks for youth to wear, Lest any dream that fare Bright pilgrim past our ken, should see Hints of Reality.
No, this, she felt, was real life and if she wasn't as curious or passionate as she had once been, that was only to be expected. It would be inappropriate, undignified, at thirty-eight, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour and intensity of a twenty-two-year-old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry, crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photo-booths, taking a whole day to make a compilation tape, asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or T.S. Eliot or, God forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at thirty-eight, to expect a song or book or film to change your life. No, everything had evened out and settled down and life was lived against a general background hum of comfort, satisfaction and familiarity. There would be no more of these nerve-jangling highs and lows. The friends they had now would be the friends they had in five, ten, twenty years' time. They expected to get neither dramatically richer or poorer; they expected to stay healthy for a little while yet. Caught in the middle; middle class, middle-aged; happy in that they were not overly happy. Finally, she loved someone and felt fairly confident that she was loved in return. If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them: 'We grew up together.
Rushing out the door on his way back to the street, he ran into someone with his shoulder. Turning to apologize to them, he stopped, horrified at what he saw. It was the white-eyed man he'd met a week ago. 'Watch your back.' He said standing there just long enough for Raven to take in the meat between his teeth, the milky, nearly opaque color of his eyes and the madness within them. Then, after only a few seconds, he was gone, vanished into the crowd as if he had never existed. Certain his mind was playing tricks and tired of being terrified for his sanity, he headed down the street as fast as he could in pursuit. As he rushed through the tightly packed crowd, he saw others like the man he'd just seen, and each of their white eyes gazed blankly into his. A woman here, a hunched drifter there, shapes and faces that shifted and darted all around him. 'Watch your back.' They hissed, and he tried to move faster, his heart racing and the nerves of his body jangling painfully with fear as he fought to get beyond them. Hands reached out for his clothes, pulling him in different directions as they tugged and he struggled to be free. Their fingers felt like talons clasped into the folds and gaps of his clothing, ripping and popping stitches in their fervor to gain some small grasp on his flesh beneath his jacket. Along with the horror of their cold, dead eyes, he could smell some strangeness-a sickly sweet smell of rot and decay only barely closeted by preserving fluids. The smell dug into his sinuses as their fingers and hands dug at him. He gagged, his teeth clenched tight as he exerted energy he didn't really have. He pushed away from them and on through the empty space he saw at the end of this group of pedestrians. Many of whom mingled with what he now felt must be the dead, wholly unaware of why he flailed and pushed against them.
Amanda M. Lyons
it's a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can't function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don't care as you can't hear what they're saying anyway, and it doesn't matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don't seem to matter anymore and things you didn't think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don't want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It's a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can't eat, you don't sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything's just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don't seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it's uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you've got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn't bite there nails? perhaps he doesn't feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he's just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can't we? perhaps he's just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don't want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he's away doing Real Life it's agony, your mind won't leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you've been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn't want him to see me.
I Hear the sledges with the bells - Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. II Hear the mellow wedding bells - Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! - From the molten - golden notes, And all in tune, What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle - dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! - how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III Hear the loud alarum bells - Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor Now - now to sit, or never, By the side of the pale - faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear, it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows; Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells - Of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells - In the clamor and the clanging of the bells! IV Hear the tolling of the bells - Iron bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people - ah, the people - They that dwell up in the steeple, All alone, And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone - They are neither man nor woman - They are neither brute nor human - They are Ghouls: - And their king it is who tolls: - And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells! And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bells: - Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells: - To the sobbing of the bells: - Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells - To the tolling of the bells - Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells, - To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
Edgar Allan Poe