It's going to be okay, " she said. The woman slowly nodded, then started crying. Khaki pulled the woman against her numb shoulder, keeping an eye out as the sounds of sirens approached from a distance. About time. As the sirens got louder, Khaki wondered again why she wasn't in more pain. And why the hell had it taken backup so long to get here?
What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: I stopped thinking. [... ] Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. Past and future dropped away. I forgot who and what I was, my name, manhood, animalhood, all that could be called mine. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough. And what I found was khaki trouserlegs terminating downwards in a pair of brown shoes, khaki sleeves terminating sideways in a pair of pink hands, and a khaki shirtfront terminating upwards in-absolutely nothing whatever! Certainly not in a head. It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been was no ordinary vacancy, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything-room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snowpeaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky. I had lost a head and gained a world.
Douglas E. Harding
Want a sandwich?' Mac shook her head. 'I'm going to have dinner with Gage when he gets home.' Who said anything about dinner? This was more like an appetizer. That was another perk that came with being a werewolf. She could eat whatever she wanted and not have to worry about extra calories ending up where they shouldn't. Khaki set everything on the counter. 'I asked Xander flat-out when I went over to his place last night. He insisted he liked me just fine, but I knew he was lying. I could tell he was really uncomfortable around me. He was tense and on edge the whole time. Which is nothing new. He's like that all the time around me. I think he finds me irritating and a nuisance.' Mac gave her a dubious look. 'If you say so. But either way, you'd better be careful. If being with Gage has taught me anything, it's that werewolves are extremely affected by certain pheromones. If you go walking around lusting over Xander, he's going to pick up on it- and so is every other guy on the team. Then things will get really complicated. I learned that the hard way. Those guys can pick up on arousal like it's barbecue and they aren't shy about letting you know it.' Khaki groaned as she grabbed a plate from the cabinet. 'Oh, God. I never thought about that.' 'Yeah. And it gets worse.' Mac shook her head. 'If I'm even slightly aroused and Gage picks up on it, he gets crazy horny- like he-can't-control-it horny. What do you think is going to happen to if all the guys on the team pick up on the fact that the one and only female werewolf on the team is aroused? You'll find yourself getting chased by fifteen out-of-control, horny werewolves going crazy with lust. And while there are some women who might find that entertaining, something tells me you wouldn't.' Khaki set the plate on the counter with a thud. 'Oh, crap. What the hell am I going to do?' Mac offered her a small smile. 'Take a lot of baths?
Grant glanced down at his khaki jacket. Since he'd slipped on the US Navy uniform in Agent Bounter's office, he'd felt a confident swagger possess him. His spine lengthened, and his shoulders retracted. He should've been wearing this every day, not the stupid dress shirt and slacks of a lounge singer.
He'd changed since the last summer. Instead of Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt, he wore a button-down shirt, khaki pants, and leather loafers. His sandy hair, which used to be so unruly, was now clipped short. He look like an evil male model, showing off what the fashionable college-age villain was wearing to Harvard this year.
Nelson Mandela once remarked that he befriended his jailers, those grim, khaki-clad overseers of his decades of hard labor in a limestone quarry, by "exploiting their good qualities." Asked if he believed all people were kind at their core, he responded, "There is no doubt whatsoever, provided you are able to arouse their inherent goodness." If that sounds like wishful thinking, well, he actually did it.
Marc Ian Barasch
What do you think would happen if we kissed right here, right now?" he asks, digging his hands into the pockets of his khaki pants, grinning right back at me. "I think it would cause a riot." "Well, you know me," he says, lowering his head towards me. "Causing a riot is what I do best." Santangelo approaches before Griggs gets any closer and pulls him away. "Are you guys insane?" he says, irritated. "It's called peaceful coexistence, Santangelo. You should try it and if it works we may sell the idea to the Israelis and Palestinians," I say, throwing his own words back at him.
A war changes people in a number of ways. It either shortcuts you to your very self; or it triggers such variations that you might as well have been a larva, pupating in dampness, darkness and tightly wrapped puttees. Then, providing you don't take flight from a burst shell, you emerge from your khaki cocoon so changed from what you were that you fear you've gone mad, because people at home treat you as though you were someone else. Someone who, through a bizarre coincidence, had the same name, address and blood ties as you, but who must have died in the war. And you have no choice but to live as an impostor because you can't remember who you were before the war. There's a simple but horrible explanation for this: you were born in the war. You slid, slick, bloody and fully formed, out of a trench. The Great War was the greatest changer of them all.
Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.
I know that life is busy and hard and that there's crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don't. Please don't. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.
He looked like every glossy frat boy in every nerd movie ever made, like every popular town boy who'd ever looked right through her in high school, like every rotten rich kid who'd ever belonged where she hadn't. My mama warned me about guys like you. He turned to her as if he'd heard her and took off his sunglasses, and she went down the steps to meet him, wiping her sweaty palms on her dust-smeared khaki shorts. 'Hi, I'm Sophie Dempsey, ' she said, flashing the Dempsey gotta-love-me grin as she held out her hot, grimy hand, and after a moment he took it. His hand was clean and cool and dry, and her heart pounded harder as she looked into his remote, gray eyes. 'Hello, Sophie Dempsey, ' her worst nightmare said. 'Welcome to Temptation.
at Newsweek only girls with college degrees-and we were called "girls" then-were hired to sort and deliver the mail, humbly pushing our carts from door to door in our ladylike frocks and proper high-heeled shoes. If we could manage that, we graduated to "clippers, " another female ghetto. Dressed in drab khaki smocks so that ink wouldn't smudge our clothes, we sat at the clip desk, marked up newspapers, tore out releveant articles with razor-edged "rip sticks, " and routed the clips to the appropriate departments. "Being a clipper was a horrible job, " said writer and director Nora Ephron, who got a job at Newsweek after she graduated from Wellesley in 1962, "and to make matters worse, I was good at it.
The millions of vacationers who came here every year before Katrina were mostly unaware of this poverty. French Quarter tourists were rarely exposed to the reality beneath the Disneyland Gomorrah that is projected as 'N'Awlins, ' a phrasing I have never heard a local use and a place, as far as I can tell, that I have never encountered despite my years in the city. The seemingly average, white, middle-class Americans whooped it up on Bourbon Street without any thought of the third-world lives of so many of the city's citizens that existed under their noses. The husband and wife, clad in khaki shorts, feather boa, and Mardi Gras beads well out of season, beheld a child tap-dancing on the street for money and clapped along to his beat without considering the obvious fact that this was an early school-day afternoon and that the child should be learning to read, not dancing for money. Somehow they did not see their own child beneath the dancer's black visage. Nor, perhaps, did they see the crumbling buildings where the city's poor live as they traveled by cab from the French Quarter to Commander's Palace. They were on vacation and this was not their problem.
He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see. He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked his vest behind. But he had a man's religion and he had a stong man's mind. And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went. And he bravely tramped right with 'em every- where the boys were sent. He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on; Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going to live like one. Then he'd refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night, And if no one else was handy he'd put on the gloves and fight. He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the sol- diers' needs, And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this is now the time for deeds." He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of shell From the shriek it make above him, and he knew just where it fell. In the front line trench he laboured, and he knew the feel of mud, And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered them with his jokes, And he never made a visit without passing round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt be- side a lad Who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad, 'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he smiled and whispered low, "Now you needn't fear the journey; over there with you I'll go." And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went. He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.
Edgar A. Guest
Charlotte was used to all the marks of war: the shabbiness of things, bad food, shop queues, posters about the war effort, people with worried faces, people dressed in black. She was used to seeing the wounded men from the hospital with their bright blue uniforms and bright red ties, the colours, she thought, if not the clothes of Arthur's soldiers. Such things did not disturb her, and the war seemed quite remote. But this disturbed her, the grotesque kind of circus that came now. It did not seem remote at all, nor did it fit with her vague ideas of war gained from those books of Arthur's she had read, with their flags and glory and brave drummer boys. How could you dare to become a soldier, knowing that you might end like this? There were men like clowns with white heads, white arms, white legs, men with crutches, slings, and bloodied bandages, and all so distressingly like men you would expect to see walking down the street, two armed, two legged, in hats instead of bandages and suits of black not battered khaki. Some came on stretchers borne by whole and ordinary men, some hobbled and leaned on whole ordinary arms. Most had mud dried thick across their clothes, and all came from the dark station's mouth with the spewings of trains behind, the clankings, thumpings, grindings, the sounds like great devils taking in breaths and blowing them out again.
A weathered black and silver Dodge pickup towing a small motorboat pulled up behind us, and Alex circled back to greet the driver. I couldn't see who sat behind the crusted and dirty windshield, but Alex stood at the driver's window and pointed down the block where the boulevard disappeared into floodwater. The truck pulled ahead, maneuvered a deft U-turn, and backed toward the water. Alex motioned for me to follow. By the time I lurched my way to the truck, he and the pickup driver were sliding the boat down the trailer ramp. Sweat trickled down my neck, and if I hadn't been afraid of being poisoned by toxic sludge, I'd have made like a pig and wallowed in the mud to cool off. I kicked at a fire hydrant, trying to jolt some of the heaviest sludge off my boots, and heard a soft laugh behind me. With a final kick that sent a spray of brown gunk flying, I turned to see what was so funny. I needed a laugh. A man leaned against the side of the pickup with his arms crossed. He was a few inches shorter than Alex, maybe just shy of six feet, with sun-streaked blond hair that reached his collar and a sleeveless blue T-shirt and khaki shorts. His tanned legs between the bottom of the shorts and the top of sturdy black shrimp boots were scored with scars, bad ones, as if whatever made them meant to do serious damage. He'd been grinning when I turned around, flashing a heart-stopping set of dimples, but when he saw my eyes linger on his legs, the grin eased into something more wary.
The car came opposite her, and she curtsied so low that recovery was impossible, and she sat down in the road. Her parasol flew out of her hand and out of her parasol flew the Union Jack. She saw a young man looking out of the window, dressed in khaki, grinning broadly, but not, so she thought, graciously, and it suddenly struck her that there was something, beside her own part in the affair, which was not as it should be. As he put his head in again there was loud laughter from the inside of the car. Mr. Wootten helped her up and the entire assembly of her friends crowded round her, hoping she was not hurt. "No, dear Major, dear Padre, not at all, thanks, " she said. "So stupid: my ankle turned. Oh, yes, the Union Jack I bought for my nephew, it's his birthday to-morrow. Thank you. I just came to see about my coke: of course I thought the Prince had arrived when you all went down to meet the 4.15. Fancy my running straight into it all! How well he looked." This was all rather lame, and Miss Mapp hailed Mrs. Poppit's appearance from the station as a welcome diversion... Mrs. Poppit was looking vexed. "I hope you saw him well, Mrs. Poppit, " said Miss Mapp, "after meeting two trains, and taking all that trouble." "Saw who?" said Mrs. Poppit with a deplorable lack both of manner and grammar. "Why"-light seemed to break on her odious countenance. "Why, you don't think that was the Prince, do you, Miss Mapp? He arrived here at one, so the station-master has just told me, and has been playing golf all afternoon." The Major looked at the Captain, and the Captain at the Major. It was months and months since they had missed their Saturday afternoon's golf. "It was the Prince of Wales who looked out of that car-window, " said Miss Mapp firmly. "Such a pleasant smile. I should know it anywhere." "The young man who got into the car at the station was no more the Prince of Wales than you are, " said Mrs. Poppit shrilly. "I was close to him as he came out: I curtsied to him before I saw." Miss Mapp instantly changed her attack: she could hardly hold her smile on to her face for rage. "How very awkward for you, " she said. "What a laugh they will all have over it this evening! Delicious!" Mrs. Poppit's face suddenly took on an expression of the tenderest solicitude. "I hope, Miss Mapp, you didn't jar yourself when you sat down in the road just now, " she said. "Not at all, thank you so much, " said Miss Mapp, hearing her heart beat in her throat...
There was just enough room for the tonga to get through among the bullock-carts, rickshaws, cycles and pedestrians who thronged both the road and the pavement-which they shared with barbers plying their trade out of doors, fortune-tellers, flimsy tea-stalls, vegetable-stands, monkey-trainers, ear-cleaners, pickpockets, stray cattle, the odd sleepy policeman sauntering along in faded khaki, sweat-soaked men carrying impossible loads of copper, steel rods, glass or scrap paper on their backs as they yelled 'Look out! Look out!' in voices that somehow pierced though the din, shops of brassware and cloth (the owners attempting with shouts and gestures to entice uncertain shoppers in), the small carved stone entrance of the Tinny Tots (English Medium) School which opened out onto the courtyard of the reconverted haveli of a bankrupt aristocrat, and beggars-young and old, aggressive and meek, leprous, maimed or blinded-who would quietly invade Nabiganj as evening fell, attempting to avoid the police as they worked the queues in front of the cinema-halls. Crows cawed, small boys in rags rushed around on errands (one balancing six small dirty glasses of tea on a cheap tin tray as he weaved through the crowd) monkeys chattered in and bounded about a great shivering-leafed pipal tree and tried to raid unwary customers as they left the well-guarded fruit-stand, women shuffled along in anonymous burqas or bright saris, with or without their menfolk, a few students from the university lounging around a chaat-stand shouted at each other from a foot away either out of habit or in order to be heard, mangy dogs snapped and were kicked, skeletal cats mewed and were stoned, and flies settled everywhere: on heaps of foetid, rotting rubbish, on the uncovered sweets at the sweetseller's in whose huge curved pans of ghee sizzled delicioius jalebis, on the faces of the sari-clad but not the burqa-clad women, and on the horse's nostrils as he shook his blinkered head and tried to forge his way through Old Brahmpur in the direction of the Barsaat Mahal.