Okay, yeah, he staggered back and fell into the condiments. Big deal. There wasn't any blood. I didn't even get him in the face. He saw my fist coming, and at the last minute he ducked, so instead of punching him in the nose, like I intended, I ended up punching him in the neck. I highly doubt it even left a bruise.
Open the books ... and you will be staggered to see how much American money has been taken from the United States Treasury for the benefit of Russia. Find out what business has been transacted for the State Bank of Soviet Russia, by its correspondent, the Chase Bank of New York [owned by the Rockefellers].
Louis Thomas McFadden
One of the cafes had that brilliant idea of putting up a slogan: 'the best protection against infection is a good bottle of wine', which confirmed an already prevalent opinion that alcohol is a safeguard against infectious disease. Every night, towards 2 a.m., quite a number of drunk men, ejected from the cafes , staggered down the streets, vociferating optimism.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Martin Luther King
A heartbeat later a single pair of orange eyes rose from the darkened depths. Dim at first, then in full brightness of attention they moved up from the floor then glided toward here, drawing closer and closer. She staggered back in horror as they moved nearer still, staring into hers, piercing her soul.
Marcha A. Fox
All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two." He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. "Chloe? Is that you?" He coughed. "Do you have my insulin?" I placed it in his outstretched hand. "You saved my life," he said. "How can I ever repay you?" "Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled." He held up a piece of fruit. "Would you settle for a bruised apple?" I laughed.
Which is your bad shoulder?" His brows knit together. "The left, " he said carefully. She slugged him in the right. He staggered. Steadied himself. Grinned. "Is that like some weird Wyoming mating ritual thing I should know about?" "Damn you, " she cried, flying into his arms. Finally. "Damn you, damn you, damn you!" He wrapped his arms around her, held her tight. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was such a coward.
The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man-and the dogma is the drama ... The plot pivots upon a single character, and the whole action is the answer to a single central problem: 'What think ye of Christ?'... He was emphatically not a dull m an in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either.
Dorothy L. Sayers
How can I say what it was like to breathe again? I felt newborn. I staggered in the light of the world and took deep gulps of fresh sea air. It was late in the day: the wet mouth of the afternoon was full on my face. My soul blossomed in that brief moment as they led me out of doors. I fell, my skirts in the mud, and I turned my face upwards as if in prayer. I could have wept from the relief of light.
Louis B. Mayer is one of those with a claim to posessing the equation... he began to buy up nickelodeon arcades in the years before the First World War in and around Boston. He had noticed that people liked going into the dark to see the light... the appeal of the movies is beyond the sensible, rational or the hard-working. Going into the dark, afte centuries of progress in which mankind has staggered toward artificial light, smacks of delicious perversity.
Edward Jay Epstein
And Hermione was struggling to her feet in the wreckage, and three red-headed men were grouped on the ground where the wall had blasted apart. Harry grabbed Hermione's hand as they staggered and stumbled over stone and wood. 'No - no - no!' someone was shouting. 'No! Fred! No!' And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred's eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.
J. K. Rowling
For a moment Ethan simply stares. Before him is the monster of his nightmares: his sister's murderer, the beast who robbed him of his greatest love. How easy, how fulfilling would it be to take Marduk's life? But the arrow in Ethan's fingers slips to the ground. "No. even revenge is too great an honor for you." As the night falls and brings an end to this long day of darkness, Marduk inhales his last staggered breath and his body turns to stone.
Pearl rolled a tiny pink speck in her fingers, possibly part of Rose's new leg that I'd tried so hard to make a good match. Pearl laughed and flicked it away as if it was snot out of her nose. I suddenly couldn't stand it. I rushed at her.She saw I wasn't playing around. She ran for it but I caught up with her along the landing. I punched her hard in the chest and she staggered back wards - back and back, and then she wobbled and went right over, down the stairs.
Me and a mate picked up two darling birds and they took us back to their flat. I went into the bedroom with my bird and she started getting undressed. I was that drunk I was standing there wondering how to get undressed without letting go of the award. I went to sit on the bed, missed it by four feet and ended up lying on the floor. I remember the bird looking down at me, and saying, 'Some player of the year.' Then I fell asleep. I woke up still clutching my award and staggered out of the flat. I hadn't a bloody clue where I was.
You kids have fun, and be home by Thanksgiving!" our parents would call to us on Halloween night, as we staggered out the front door, weighed down by hundreds of pounds of concealed vandalism supplies, including enough raw eggs to feed Somalia for decades. By morning, thanks to our efforts, the entire neighborhood would be covered with a layer of congealed shaving cream and toilet paper that, around certain unpopular neighbors' homes, was hundreds of feet thick. This is how the Appalachian Mountains were formed.
Michael staggered to his feet and turned to face his worst nightmare. Baal stood before him, a smirk on his face. He wore his signature grey, pinstripe, three-piece suit, and casually twisted his pinky ring on his long and slender well-manicured finger. As it rotated Michael caught a glimpse of the rubies in the skull's eye sockets. His black hair was slicked back, the sight of his false appearance made Michael sick to his stomach.
It felt like an eternity before he gingerly lifted himself from the table and staggered backwards. Glass shards protruded from chest to groin. The guy looked like a bloody porcupine. A cute, tall bloody porcupine. I'm tall too. Five foot ten. But he had at least four inches on me, even with my thick-heeled boots. 'What's your name?' he slurred. While visions of reckless homicide charges danced in my head, I contemplated using an alias. Finally, I said my real name, 'Sam.' 'Nice to meet you, Sammers. I'm Jake, ' he said.
Betsy Cook Speer
I came to admire this machine which could lift virtually any load strapped to its back and carry it anywhere in any weather, safely and dependably. The C-47 groaned, it protested, it rattled, it leaked oil, it ran hot, it ran cold, it ran rough, it staggered along on hot days and scared you half to death, its wings flexed and twisted in a horrifying manner, it sank back to earth with a great sigh of relief - but it flew and it flew and it flew.
He updated his report, doing his best to tune out the two men who staggered into the police station, dragging each other. "I want you to arrest this idiot bastard, " the taller one shouted, face contorted with rage. "He shit on my front porch!" Your dog shits all over my yard every day, " the other one countered shoving. Calm down, please, " Leila said when they reached reception. The tall one thumped a fist on the counter. "I want to make a police report. I stepped in that shit!" Chase checked out the floor behind them, the questionable footprints. Made a mental note to walk around them when he left.
I'm not ill like that, " she groaned. He sat on her bed, peeling back the blanket. A servant entered, frowning at the mess on the floor, and shouted for help. "Then it what way?" 'I, uh... " Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. "My monthly cycles finally came back!" His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. "I-if... Then I'll take my leave, " he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.
Sarah J. Maas
Who is he anyhow, an actor?" "No." "A dentist?" "... No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919." "Fixed the World Series?" I repeated. The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as something that merely happened, the end of an inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people-with the singlemindedness of a burglar blowing a safe. "How did he happen to do that?" I asked after a minute. "He just saw the opportunity." "Why isn't he in jail?" "They can't get him, old sport. He's a smart man.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Octave staggered to his feet, his stick swinging back to point toward Nicholas. He felt a wave of heat and saw spellfire crackle along the length of polished wood, preparing itself for another explosive burst. Crack was moving toward Octave, but Madeline shouted, "Get back!" Nicholas ducked, as a shot exploded behind him. Octave fell backward on the carpet and the blue lightning flared once and vanished with a sharp crackle. Nicholas looked at Madeline. She stepped forward, holding a small double-action revolver carefully and frowning down at the corpse. He said, "I wondered what you were waiting for." "You were in my line of fire, dear, " she said, preoccupied. "But look.
Almost every time I speak to teenagers, particularly young female students who want to talk to me about feminism, I find myself staggered by how much they have read, how creatively they think and how curiously bullshit-resistant they are. Because of the subjects I write about, I am often contacted by young people and I see it as a part of my job to reply to all of them - and doing so has confirmed a suspicions I've had for some time. I think that the generation about to hit adulthood is going to be rather brilliant. Young people getting older is not, in itself, a fascinating new cultural trend. Nonetheless the encroaching adulthood and the people who grew up in a world where expanding technological access collided with the collapse of the neoliberal economic consensus is worth paying attention to. Because these kids are smart, cynical and resilient, and I don't mind saying that they scare me a little.
Ah, mistress, you're an angel. Sure there's not a drop left? I might have remembered one more person... ' 'Up yours, ' I said rudely with another belch. 'It's empty. You should tell me the name anyway, after making me drink all that sewage.' Winston gave me a devious smile. 'Come back with a full bottle and I will.' 'Selfish spook, ' I mumbled, and staggered away. I'd made it a few feet when I felt that distinct pins-and-needles sensation again, only this time it wasn't in my throat. 'Hey!' I looked down in time to see Winston's grinning, transparent form fly out of my pants. He was chuckling even as I smacked at myself and hopped up and down furiously. 'Drunken filthy pig!' I spat. 'Bastard!' 'And a good eve'in' to you, too, mistress!' he called out, his edges starting to blur and fade. 'Come back soon!' 'I hope worms shit on your corpse!' was my reply. A ghost had just gotten to third base with me. Could I sink any lower?
Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?" said Malfoy. "And he's supposed to be our teacher!" Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first - SMACK! She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again. "Don't you dare call Hagrid pathetic you foul-you evil-" "Hermione!" said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back. "Get off Ron!" Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered. "C'mon, " Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons. "Hermione!" Ron said again, sounding both stunned and impressed.
Oh heaven and hell, stop with the tears. Given the day Sarah had just had, the tears were logical. But watching her face crumple, hearing the gut-deep harsh sobs, filled Rukh with an irrational need to pull her into his arms, wrap her in a hug. As soon as the urge had gelled into conscious thought, his essence hardened into visibility and his arms slid up around her shivering, wet body. Sarah's eyes popped open and she staggered back with a yell. His arms tightened around her, steadying her, keeping her close. Well, shit. At least, she'd stopped crying. Fear-bright green eyes stared at him instead. Given he was an assassin, sent to kill her, her response was natural, even intelligent. Yet, bitterness churned in his gut at the thought of her fearing him. 'It's okay, ' he whispered. 'You're safe.' 'Am I hallucinating?' Her question came out as a croak. 'Yes, yes you are.' That seemed a much better answer than the truth. She pinned him with her dark, direct gaze. 'You're just a figment of my imagination. A fantasy?' 'Yes.' He didn't dare move. 'Then why are you still wearing clothes?
But soon the poltergeist ran out of ideas in connection with Aunt Maud and became, as it were, more eclectic. All the banal motions that objects are limited to in such cases, were gone through in this one. Saucepans crashed in the kitchen; a snowball was found (perhaps, prematurely) in the icebox; once or twice Sybil saw a plate sail by like a discus and land safely on the sofa; lamps kept lighting up in various parts of the house; chairs waddled away to assemble in the impassable pantry; mysterious bits of string were found on the floor; invisible revelers staggered down the staircase in the middle of the night; and one winter morning Shade, upon rising and taking a look at the weather, saw that the little table from his study upon which he kept Bible-like Webster open at M was standing in a state of shock outdoors, on the snow (subliminally this may have participated in the making of lines 5-12). I imagine, that during the period the Shades, or at least John Shade, experienced a sensation of odd instability as if parts of the everyday, smoothly running world had got unscrewed, and you became aware that one of your tires was rolling beside you, or that your steering wheel had come off.
Auctus took the initiative again, eyeballing his foe as he strode towards him. Indavara bounced up and down on his toes and waited. His options were limited; he needed time to see what Auctus could do before he tried anything. The German jabbed the trident forward again, simultaneously swinging the net at his enemy's knees. Indavara shuffled backwards, avoiding both attacks. Auctus pressed on and repeated the move. Indavara leapt to his left, sure he was clear of both net and trident. But then Auctus twisted his wrist and swung the net upward. Indavara felt rope brush his neck, then a shuddering crack as one of the stones caught him under the chin. Blinding white flashed into his eyes. He staggered back, reeling as the pain bloomed higher. His eyes cleared; and he saw the trident-head coming at him. He pushed off to his right, dropping into a neat double roll that took him clear. Springing back to his feet, he looked up as the German marched towards him, yelling in a language no one else in the arena understood.
He tans into burning while the opening fanfare to "Peaches en Regalia" flows over him, the bugle call for a hippie army that marched at the peak of the American parabola, that moment when physics held its breath to allow levitation, a small reward before the descent. The hippies knew it then, Maggot Boy Johnson thinks; they couldn't build it into words but they could feel it; a floating in the stomach as history shifted direction. They stopped, hey, what's that sound, and knew that the spiny skyscrapers reflected in the river, the chasms of concrete, the wide streets and sidewalks, the power lines cutting into the hills and mountains above missile silos, the highways drawing lines across the blank plains under enormous skies, the pupil of God's eye, would be the ruins that their grandchildren wandered among, the reminders that once there was always water in the faucet, there was electricity all the time, and America was prying off the shackles of its past. The vision opened up to them and winked out again, and those it blinded staggered through their lives unable to see anything else, while the rest of them wondered if they had only dreamed it.
Brian Francis Slattery
He firmly pulled her body against his and he brushed her lips with his. Staring into her eyes, he lightly slid his tongue across her bottom lip. She drew a deep, staggered breath in response to the wave of heat she felt flushing through her. Derrick smiled at her. Then, he softly kissed her. He lightly swept his tongue between her lips, pressing his warm, soft lips to hers. He slid his hands up her body and cradled her face with his hands. Then, he passionately kissed her, tickling her tongue with his. He sucked her lips, gently, as though he was sampling nectar on a delicate petal. Then, with an intense urgency, he dipped his tongue past her lips, caressing her tongue with his. She felt fluttering inside. Anne's body craved him. A shallow hum escaped from within her in response to how he was making her feel. She could feel his body responding to her. He was breathing heavier which was waking Anne's primal needs. The tidal wave of lust that had just churned within her was slowly calming as his kiss became more subtle and tender. He gently pressed his lips against hers. He pulled back a little and looked away, exhaling.
Ivar grabbed hold of my shoulders, swung me into a strung-up fishing net, and then smashed me into a set of shelves. Clutter rained down on me, and I fought my way to the surface, clawing free of the net. Ivar's fingers curled around my shirt and lifted me until I was eye level with her. "I'm going to enjoy killing you, " she sneered. "And when you come back, I'll enjoy killing you again. If the Enshi doesn't eat your soul, I'll gladly eat your heart." Instead of replying, I stabbed her in the gut with a Khopesh. Her eyes bulged and she dropped me. I pulled the flaming sword out and slashed, but she caught my wrist before my blade could catch her skin, and she hissed, pulling her lips back viciously. "Wrong move." Her flesh healed shut with only an ugly marbled scar left behind. She lashed her black power at me, striking me across the chest like a whip, and I staggered back. I shook off the blow and saw her lunge for me through the smoky remains of her attack. My own power detonated in a deafening explosion of white and collided with her. It blew her through the cabin, and she crashed through the wall and flew back out on the other side of the deck in a storm of fiberglass and steel.
Courtney Allison Moulton
Simon whispered to me, 'But is everything okay?' 'No, ' Tori said. 'I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I've been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.' 'Undying gratitude?' Simon looked at me. 'Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.' I smiled. 'I'll remember that.' 'Oh, right. You must be starving.' Simon reached into his pockets. 'I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren't the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.' 'Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.' Derek passed a bar to Tori. 'Because you aren't supposed to have those, are you?' I said. 'Which reminds me... ' I took out the insulin. 'Derek said it's your backup.' 'So my dark secret is out.' 'I didn't know it was a secret.' 'Not really. Just not something I advertise.'... 'Backup?' Tori said. 'You mean he didn't need that?' 'Apparently not, ' I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. 'You guys thought... ' 'That if you didn't get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you'd be dead?' I said. 'Not exactly, but close. You know, the old 'upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication' twist. Apparently, it still works.' 'Kind of a letdown, then, huh?' 'No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.' 'All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.' He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. 'Chloe? Is that you?' He coughed. 'Do you have my insulin?' I placed it in his outstretched hand. 'You saved my life, ' he said. 'How can I ever repay you?' 'Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.' He held up a piece of fruit. 'Would you settle for a bruised apple?' I laughed.
I prayed to a mystery. Sometimes I was simply aware of the mystery. I saw a flash of it during a trip to New York that David and I took before we were married. We were walking on a busy sidewalk in Manhattan. I don't remember if it was day or night. A man with a wound on his forehead came toward us. His damp, ragged hair might have been clotted with blood, or maybe it was only dirt. He wore deeply dirty clothes. His red, swollen hands, cupped in half-fists, swung loosely at his sides. His eyes were focused somewhere past my right shoulder. He staggered while he walked. The sidewalk traffic flowed around him and with him. He was strange and frightening, and at the same time he belonged on the Manhattan sidewalk as much as any of us. It was that paradox - that he could be both alien and resident, both brutalized and human, that he could stand out in the moving mass of people like a sea monster in a school of tuna and at the same time be as much at home as any of us - that stayed with me. I never saw him again, but I remember him often, and when I do, I am aware of the mystery. Years later, I was out on our property on the Olympic Peninsula, cutting a path through the woods. This was before our house was built. After chopping through dense salal and hacking off ironwood bushes for an hour or so, I stopped, exhausted. I found myself standing motionless, intensely aware of all of the life around me, the breathing moss, the chattering birds, the living earth. I was as much a part of the woods as any millipede or cedar tree. At that moment, too, I was aware of the mystery. Sometimes I wanted to speak to this mystery directly. Out of habit, I began with "Dear God" and ended with "Amen". But I thought to myself, I'm not praying to that old man in the sky. Rather, I'm praying to this thing I can't define. It was sort of like talking into a foggy valley. Praying into a bank of fog requires alot of effort. I wanted an image to focus on when I prayed. I wanted something to pray to. but I couldn't go back to that old man. He was too closely associated with all I'd left behind.
Margaret D. McGee
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam's waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream, and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch, and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam's curse. 'Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.' A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
Ready yourselves!' Mullone heard himself say, which was strange, he thought, for he knew his men were prepared. A great cry came from beyond the walls that were punctuated by musket blasts and Mullone readied himself for the guns to leap into action. Mullone felt a tremor. The ground shook and then the first rebels poured through the gates like an oncoming tide. Mullone saw the leading man; both hands gripping a green banner, face contorted with zeal. The flag had a white cross in the centre of the green field and the initials JF below it. John Fitzstephen. Then, there were more men behind him, tens, then scores. And then time seemed to slow. The guns erupted barely twenty feet from them. Later on, Mullone would remember the great streaks of flame leap from the muzzles to lick the air and all of the charging rebels were shredded and torn apart in one terrible instant. Balls ricocheted on stone and great chunks were gouged out by the bullets. Blood sprayed on the walls as far back as the arched gateway, limbs were shorn off, and Mullone watched in horror as a bloodied head tumbled down the sloped street towards the barricade. 'Jesus sweet suffering Christ!' Cahill gawped at the carnage as the echo of the big guns resonated like a giant's beating heart. Trooper O'Shea bent to one side and vomited at the sight of the twitching, bleeding and unrecognisable lumps that had once been men. A man staggered with both arms missing. Another crawled back to the gate with a shattered leg spurting blood. The stench of burnt flesh and the iron tang of blood hung ripe and nauseating in the oppressive air. One of the low wooden cabins by the wall was on fire. A blast of musketry outside the walls rattled against the stonework and a redcoat toppled backwards onto the cabin's roof as the flames fanned over the wood. 'Here they come again! Ready your firelocks! Do not waste a shot!' Johnson shouted in a steady voice as the gateway became thick with more rebels. He took a deep breath. 'God forgive us, ' Corporal Brennan said. 'Liberty or death!' A rebel, armed with a blood-stained pitchfork, shouted over-and-over.
And it was in that moment of distress and confusion that the whip of terror laid its most nicely calculated lash about his heart. It dropped with deadly effect upon the sorest spot of all, completely unnerving him. He had been secretly dreading all the time that it would come - and come it did. Far overhead, muted by great height and distance, strangely thinned and wailing, he heard the crying voice of Defago, the guide. The sound dropped upon him out of that still, wintry sky with an effect of dismay and terror unsurpassed. The rifle fell to his feet. He stood motionless an instant, listening as it were with his whole body, then staggered back against the nearest tree for support, disorganized hopelessly in mind and spirit. To him, in that moment, it seemed the most shattering and dislocating experience he had ever known, so that his heart emptied itself of all feeling whatsoever as by a sudden draught. 'Oh! oh! This fiery height! Oh, my feet of fire! My burning feet of fire... ' ran in far, beseeching accents of indescribable appeal this voice of anguish down the sky. Once it called - then silence through all the listening wilderness of trees. And Simpson, scarcely knowing what he did, presently found himself running wildly to and fro, searching, calling, tripping over roots and boulders, and flinging himself in a frenzy of undirected pursuit after the Caller. Behind the screen of memory and emotion with which experience veils events, he plunged, distracted and half-deranged, picking up false lights like a ship at sea, terror in his eyes and heart and soul. For the Panic of the Wilderness had called to him in that far voice - the Power of untamed Distance - the Enticement of the Desolation that destroys. He knew in that moment all the pains of someone hopelessly and irretrievably lost, suffering the lust and travail of a soul in the final Loneliness. A vision of Defago, eternally hunted, driven and pursued across the skyey vastness of those ancient forests fled like a flame across the dark ruin of his thoughts... It seemed ages before he could find anything in the chaos of his disorganized sensations to which he could anchor himself steady for a moment, and think... The cry was not repeated; his own hoarse calling brought no response; the inscrutable forces of the Wild had summoned their victim beyond recall - and held him fast. ("The Wendigo")
What did we talk about? I don't remember. We talked so hard and sat so still that I got cramps in my knee. We had too many cups of tea and then didn't want to leave the table to go to the bathroom because we didn't want to stop talking. You will think we talked of revolution but we didn't. Nor did we talk of our own souls. Nor of sewing. Nor of babies. Nor of departmental intrigue. It was political if by politics you mean the laboratory talk that characters in bad movies are perpetually trying to convey (unsuccessfully) when they Wrinkle Their Wee Brows and say (valiantly-dutifully-after all, they didn't write it) "But, Doctor, doesn't that violate Finagle's Constant?" I staggered to the bathroom, released floods of tea, and returned to the kitchen to talk. It was professional talk. It left my grey-faced and with such concentration that I began to develop a headache. We talked about Mary Ann Evans' loss of faith, about Emily Bronte«'s isolation, about Charlotte Bronte«'s blinding cloud, about the split in Virginia Woolf's head and the split in her economic condition. We talked about Lady Murasaki, who wrote in a form that no respectable man would touch, Hroswit, a little name whose plays "may perhaps amuse myself, " Miss Austen, who had no more expression in society than a firescreen or a poker. They did not all write letters, write memoirs, or go on the stage. Sappho-only an ambiguous, somewhat disagreeable name. Corinna? The teacher of Pindar. Olive Schriener, growing up on the veldt, wrote on book, married happily, and ever wrote another. Kate Chopin wrote a scandalous book and never wrote another. (Jean has written nothing.). There was M-ry Sh-ll-y who wrote you know what and Ch-rl-tt- P-rk-ns G-lm-an, who wrote one superb horror study and lots of sludge (was it sludge?) and Ph-ll-s Wh-tl-y who was black and wrote eighteenth century odes (but it was the eighteenth century) and Mrs. -nn R-dcl-ff- S-thw-rth and Mrs. G-rg- Sh-ld-n and (Miss?) G-rg-tt- H-y-r and B-rb-r- C-rtl-nd and the legion of those, who writing, write not, like the dead Miss B-l-y of the poem who was seduced into bad practices (fudging her endings) and hanged herself in her garter. The sun was going down. I was blind and stiff. It's at this point that the computer (which has run amok and eaten Los Angeles) is defeated by some scientifically transcendent version of pulling the plug; the furniture stood around unknowing (though we had just pulled out the plug) and Lady, who got restless when people talked at suck length because she couldn't understand it, stuck her head out from under the couch, looking for things to herd. We had talked for six hours, from one in the afternoon until seven; I had at that moment an impression of our act of creation so strong, so sharp, so extraordinarily vivid, that I could not believe all our talking hadn't led to something more tangible-mightn't you expect at least a little blue pyramid sitting in the middle of the floor?
It was getting difficult to see exactly what was going on in the pool and a fourth officer jumped in as one came up with the unconscious form of the first cop. While others pulled the half-drowned man from the pool, three more wrestled Skorzeny to the surface and dragged him to the steps at the shallow end of the pool. He wasn't struggling any longer. Nor was he breathing with any apparent difficulty. The biggest of the three cops later admitted to punching him as hard as he could in the stomach and Skorzey doubled over. Another half-dragged him, still on his feet, shirt torn, jacket ripped, out of the pool and put a handcuff on his left wrist. Skorzeny pulled his arm away from the cop and, suddenly straightening, elbow-jabbed him in the gut, sending him sprawling and rolling back into the pool. Skorzeny turned toward the back fence and was now between the pool and a small palm tree. Before him were two advancing officers, pistols leveled. Behind him two more circled the pool. Skorzeny lunged forward and all fired simultaneously. The noise was deafening. Lights in neighboring houses began to go on. Skorzeny's body twitched and bucked as the heavy slugs ripped through his body. His forward momentum carried him into the officers ahead of him and he half-crawled, half-staggered to the southeast corner of the yard where another gate was set into the fiberglass fencing. Two more officers, across the pool, cut loose with their pistols, emptying them into this writing body which danced like a puppet. Another cop fired two shots from his pump-action shotgun and Skorzeny was lifted clean off his feet and slammed against the gate, sagging to the ground. En masse from both ends of the pool they advanced, when he gave out with a terrible hissing snarl and started to rise once more. All movement ceased as the cops, to a man, stood frozen in their tracks. Skorzeny stood there like some hideous caricature, his shredding clothing and skin hanging like limp rags from his scarecrow form. His flesh was ripped in several places and he was oozing something that looked like watered-down blood. It was pinkish and transparent. He stood there like a living nightmare. Then he straightened and raised his fist with the cuff still dangling from it like a charm bracelet. 'Fools!' he shrieked. 'You can't kill me. You can't even hurt me.' Overhead, the copter hovered, the copilot giving a blow-by-blow description of the fight over the radio. The police on the ground were paralyzed. Nearly thirty shots had been fired (the bullets later tallied in reports turned in by the participating officers) and their quarry was still as strong as ever. He'd been hit repeatedly in the head and legs, so a bulletproof vest wasn't the answer. And at distances sometimes as little as five feet, they could hardly have missed. They'd seen him hit. They stood frozen in an eerie tableau as the still roiling pool water threw weird reflections all over the yard. Then Skorzeny did the most frightening thing of all. He smiled. A red-rimmed, hideous grin revealing fangs that 'would have done justice to a Doberman Pinscher.