Swooping Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Imagine a land where people are afraid of dragons. It is a reasonable fear: dragons possess a number of qualities that make being afraid of them a very commendable response. Things like their terrible size, their ability to spout fire, or to crack boulders into splinters with their massive talons. In fact, the only terrifying quality that dragons do not possess is that of existence. Now, the people of this land know about dragons because their leaders have warned them about them. They tell stories about cruel dragons with razor teeth and fiery breath. They recount legends of dragons hunting by night on silent wings. In short, the leaders make sure that the people believe in all the qualities of dragons, including that key quality of existence. And then they control the people - when they need to - with their fear of dragons. The people pay a dragon-slaying tax ... everyone stays indoors after dark to avoid being snatched by swooping claws ... and nobody ever strays out of bounds for fear of being eaten well and truly up. Perhaps somebody will wonder if dragons aren't, after all, fictitious because - despite their size - nobody seems to have actually seen one. And so it is necessary from time to time to provide evidence: a burnt tree or two, a splintered rock, the mysterious absence of a villager. The population is controlled by the dragons in its collective mind. It's contrived superstition, and it is possible because the people do not know enough about the way the world works to know that dragons do not exist.

David Whiteland
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There were worse things than death. There would be a leap and a moment suspended, then a long hopeless curve to the rocks and river below. They would fall like leaves between clouds of swifts and then be washed away by the thundering rapids. Bramble clung to that thought. If their bodies washed away then there could be no identification, no danger of reprisals on her family. She hung on tighter. The roan's hindquarters bunched under her and they were in the air. It was like she had imagined: the leap, and then the moment suspended in air that seemed to last forever. Below her the swifts boiled up through the river mist, swerving and swooping, while she and the roan seemed to stay frozen above them. Bramble felt, like a rush of air, the presence of the gods surround her. The shock made her lose her balance and begin to slide sideways. She felt herself falling. With an impossible flick of both legs, the roan shrugged her back onto his shoulders. Then the long curve downward and she braced herself to see the cliffs rushing past as they fell. Time to die. Instead she felt a thumping jolt that flung her from the roan's back and tossed her among the rocks at the cliff's edge on the other side. On the other side. Her sight cleared, although the light still seemed dim. Her hearing came back a little. On the other side of the abyss a jumble of men and hounds were milling, shouting, astonished and very angry. "You can't do that!" one yelled. "It's impossible!" "Well, he shagging did it!" another said. "Can't be impossible!" "Head for the bridge!" Beck shouted. "We can still get him! I want that horse!

Pamela Freeman
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