They All Shut Up

“She seems perplexed as hell that he said something. I don’t know this kid well enough to know if his interference is the most surprising element of this entire situation. If you ask me, the weird part about it is how everybody reacted. They all shut up. They didn’t question him, didn’t laugh or ask why, they didn’t ignore him and continue with the ridicule, and they didn’t turn their derision on him. They just stopped, he said Enough and that was that. Because I said so. End of story. Don’t make me have to tell you twice.” 

– Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

We Cry

“I have always imagined what it would be like to cry and not have to explain why. Now I know, it feels like home.  […] I see from the tear marks on his cheek that he has been crying too, even though he never made a sound. He held me against his steady heart, and cried with me, never shaking, never shifting, moving only to breathe.”

– Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

It’s Always Too Big

Why can’t they just leave us alone? she wanted to scream, but she didn’t. She knew it was a childish thought, that the wars and hates of the world were too big for her to understand, and that she was no more important in the scheme of things than these moths and adderflies drifting in their shafts of light. I am important though, she insisted to herself. And so [were others] and so were the moths and the adderflies , and the slinking skotes, and the star tenzing blooms so small and perfect, and even the tiny biting skinwights, who, after all, were just trying to live.” 

– Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Drinking and Debauchery

Macduff: What three things does drinking provoke?

“Porter (Servant): Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance: therefore much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him and it mars him; it sets him on and it takes him off; it persuades him and disheartens him; makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and giving him the lie, leaves him.”

 – Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Going Back May Not Help

“I wish to crawl back into my younger self and hand her this knowledge, this small spark of light, and see how it would shift her perceptions of the darkness all around her. Or would it have been more cruel, the glimmer of hope causing her to look for a rescue that never came?”

– Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

How Do I Walk?

“I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet and walk.” 

– Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Baby Bird Turned Out Okay But Did Not Inspire

“Last spring, I saw [a] baby bird. It kinda flopped down from the tree but it was really determined. It kept hopping from its safe little nest to the street. Then it hopped all the way across the street and didn’t get hit by a car. That bird couldn’t fly, but it ended up okay.

I don’t think that’s very inspirational – in fact I think it’s really sad. And I think that damn baby bird was really lucky. I wonder if it ever did learn to fly, there on the other side of the street, while its family sat around eating fat worms and tried to ignore it.

I’m not that determined, I don’t think.”

– One (One Universe) by Leigh Ann Kopans

Attack of the Medieval Feminist Part II

“You mount your throne and preach, chapter and verse

 – All nonsense – and you tell me it’s a curse

To marry a poor woman, she’s expensive;

Or if her family is wealthy and extensive

You say it’s torture to endure her pride

And melancholy airs, and more beside.

And if she has a pretty face, old traitor, 

You say she’s game for any fornicator

And ask what likelihood will keep her straight

With all those men who lie about in wait.

   You say that some desire us for our wealth,

Some for our shapeliness, our looks, our health,

Some for our singing, others for our dancing

Some for our gentleness and dalliant glancing,

And some because our hands are so small

By your account the devil gets us all.”

 – The Wife of Bath from the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.