Or consider 'Here Without You' by 3 Doors Down, or almost any song by the group Maroon 5. Those bands are so featureless that critics and listeners created a new music category-'bath rock'-to describe their tepid sounds. Yet whenever they came on the radio, almost no one changed the station.
Gym class was, of course, where the strongest, best-looking kids were made captains and chose us spazzes last. More important, it was where the figures of supposed authority allowed them to do so. Forget the work our parents did molding our minds and values. Everything fell apart as soon as we put on those maroon polyester gym suits.
The river was glossy, narrow, and quick, a beautiful green color, with the white and maroon striped college punts strung along the near bank... The sun, westering, heavy, and hazy, was in those great final throes of energy before the sky whitens and clears, and evening comes. I stood and watched it. That immense body, dying trillions of feet away from me, still warming my face with its steady insensate chemistries.
Let us help." "You already did." My voice didn't betray anything. "Both of you helped plan this. You lent me this car. Aubrey put up the funds." He raised his brow. "Lending you this car doesn't count as helping. It was more like public service. If you drove your car, the noise would wake up all of Haverleau." "It's not that bad -" "Yeah, if you want to be as obvious as a rhinoceros." I gave a pointed look at his lime-green coat and bright maroon sweater. Talk about burning my retinas. "Pot calling kettle." He glanced at himself. "It's seasonal. I look Christmasy.
But what struck me was the book-madness of the place-books lay scattered across the unmade bed and the top of a battered-looking desk, books stood in knee-high piles on the floor, books were crammed sideways and right side up in a narrow bookcase that rose higher than my head and leaned dangerously from the wall, books sat in stacks on top of a dingy dresser. The closet door was propped open by a pile of books, and from beneath the bed a book stuck out beside the toe of a maroon slipper.
Her feet moved into the vast space, but all she could see was Cyrus. He strode through the room the way a captain commands his ship. Was it possible his maroon bruise made him more dashing? He was a fine sight in a black broadcloth coat. Her salacious gaze dropped to a brass button lower on his waistcoat. The metal glimmered, winking at her with flirtatious intent very near the tuft of hair she remembered so well at his navel. The corner of Cyrus's mouth crooked. If she looked ready to devour him, he read the message on her face, no words required. 'Claire.' He said her name like a treasured sound. Then, her landlord bent low over her hand, kissing her knuckles and keeping her fingers in a tender hold. Her flesh sung a merry tune recalling how she'd gripped those broad shoulders of his in a fit of passion. Was that only two nights ago? Her cheeks turned hot at the memory. Cyrus rose to his full height, holding her hand. He planted a kiss on her forehead. 'Mmmm... ' he hummed approvingly. 'You smell of almonds.' His lips lingered on her hairline, giving her another soft kiss. 'And vanilla, I think. Something you cooked?' He breathed in her scent, standing close yet not intimidating in the least. His own smell was clean and starched with a hint of coffee. She reached high, touching his face like a woman with every right to partake of the feast he offered. 'It's face powder.' One finger stroked the smooth square of his jaw, her voice curving with amusement. 'Today I join the ranks of ladies who meet for luncheon, and I can't be sure if I've been lured here or goaded by one very challenging man put on earth to harass my senses.' She caressed his jaw, the grain of his skin smooth to the touch. He must've shaved in the last hour. His mouth quirked sideways, pressing the maroon bruise higher up his cheek. 'Something tells me you're the perfect woman to soothe such a man or put him in his place.' His pewter stare flicked over her exposed skin, settling on her cleavage. 'As to your senses, I shall treat them with the utmost care.
In North Carolina, I stopped to gas up at a Humble Oil station, then walked around the corner to use the toilet. There were two doors and three signs. MEN was neatly stenciled over one door, LADIES over the other. The third sign was an arrow on a stick. It pointed toward the brush-covered slope behind the station. It said COLORED. Curious, I walked down the path, being careful to sidle at a couple of points where the oily, green-shading-to-maroon leaves of poison ivy were unmistakable... There was no facility. What I found at the end of the path was a narrow stream with a board laid across it on a couple of crumbling concrete posts... If I ever give you the idea that 1958's all Andy-n-Opie, remember the path, okay? The one lined with poison ivy. And the board over the stream.
My mom believed that you make your own luck. Over the stove she had hung these old, maroon painted letters that spell out, 'MANIFEST.' The idea being if you thought and dreamed about the way you wanted your life to be - if you just envisioned it long enough, it would come into being. But as hard as I had manifested Astrid Heyman with her hand in mine, her blue eyes gazing into mine, her lips whispering something wild and funny and outrageous in my ear, she had remained totally unaware of my existence. Truly, to even dream of dreaming about Astrid, for a guy like me, in my relatively low position on the social ladder of Cheyenne Mountain High, was idiotic. And with her a senior and me a junior? Forget it. Astrid was just lit up with beauty: shining blonde ringlets, June sky blue eyes, slightly furrowed brow, always biting back a smile, champion diver on the swim team. Olympic level. Hell, Astrid was Olympic level in every possible way.
When he pursed his lips and dropped a hand into his coat pocket, the last thing Nur expected him to pull out was a cricket ball. "I'd hoped for a disruptor at least, " she muttered reprovingly. The Doctor slipped three fingers around the ball and hefted it experimentally. "I thought we'd try something a little less excessive." He breathed gently on to the maroon leather and polished it on his leg as the Sontaran finally tossed the Kshatriya aside and stopped to pick up its fallen weapon. He stepped around the corner, sighting along his free arm as the Sontaran straightened, its back fully turned. The cricket ball flashed down the length of the corridor in the blink of an eye, punching into the back of the Sontaran's collar and ricocheting away. To Nur's astonishment, the alien spasmed and crashed to the floor like a falling tree. "Out for a duck, " the Doctor commented, blowing across his fingertips. "I've never seen anything killed by a cricket ball before." "You haven't yet. He'll wake up in a few minutes.
David A. McIntee
As we strolled into the hospital, I couldn't help thinking about Maroon 5's 'Harder to Breathe' because I was having a difficult time staying calm. I had been kidnapped and beaten senseless by an agent of Lucifer, and yet the white coats the doctors wore scared me just as badly. The men who had taken me from my mother wore those same damned lab coats. Every time I saw one, it awakened a dormant fear inside me-fear that I'd be dragged away from someone I loved again, fear that I'd be placed into the waiting hands of another horrible person. It would never truly go away. Michael's shoulder bumped mine, which shook me out of my thoughts. I glanced at him. 'What?' 'You're frowning.' 'Am I supposed to be smiling right now?' He faced forward, looking at our reflection in the elevator doors. 'No, but you look like you're about to bolt at any second.' I watched the digital numbers change one by one as we rose up to the right floor, fiddling with the rosary in the pocket of my leather jacket. Somehow, the beads had a calming effect on me. 'I'm fine.' 'Hard ass.' A tiny smirk touched my lips. 'Stop thinking about my butt. You're an archangel.' He grinned, but didn't reply.