Oh, what had she done?"He'd startled her; that was the problem. It was all his fault he was lying on the ground, looking rather cherub like, his blond hair curling about his ears, his bright blue eyes closed now, his masculine lips parted slightly as he slept the sleep of the dead.She studied his masculine lips. And thought just how much havoc she could wreak if she kissed him. Served him right for startling her so.Without analyzing whether she should do it, and just because she could, she pressed her mouth against his and gently kissed his lips, meaning only to give a quick peck and that was it.... His lips curved up under hers and for a second, she thought he was awake, smiling at her kissing him....Her thoughts reverted to the kiss and immediately the human faery tale Sleeping Beauty and the prince giving the princess a kiss to wake her sprang to mind. Why ever did humans make up such nonsense anyway?
And she felt joy bubbling up in her heart—that the world was so full of sunshine and beauty and gladness. And she had put herself outside it, banished herself to her corner. For all that, it was a good thing that it was so good to live—for the others, for all who had not undone themselves. And when at that moment she felt a violent quickening of the child within her, her own heart seemed to stir and answer it—"No, no, I no longer wish you ill...
He could hear her ramping up and rather than letting it happen, he silenced her the best way he knew hos.He lowered his head to hers, slowly, so she could see him coming. Her lips parted, in anticipation, in fear, out of breathlessness or a need to speak, he didn't care. He pressed his against them and heard her quick intake of breath.Her hands went up to his neck and she pulled herself closer, her mouth softening against his, opening, until they were necking like the pair of teenagers they had been, urgently, desperately, the rest of the world falling away until it was only them, no one else mattering, nothing necessary to their survival but that they hold on, hold on, hold on to each other and never let go.
Brahma made up his mind to make the world and a man and woman. He made the world, and he made the man and then the woman, and put them on the island of Ceylon. According to the account it was the most beautiful island of which man can conceive. Such birds, such songs, such flowers and such verdure! And the branches of the trees were so arranged that when the wind swept through them every tree was a thousand Æolian harps.Brahma, when he put them there, said: 'Let them have a period of courtship, for it is my desire and will that true love should forever precede marriage.' When I read that, it was so much more beautiful and lofty than the other, that I said to myself, If either one of these stories ever turns out to be true, I hope it will be this one.'Then they had their courtship, with the nightingale singing, and the stars shining, and the flowers blooming, and they fell in love. They were married by the Supreme Brahma, and he said to them: 'Remain here; you must never leave this island.' Well, after a little while the man—and his name was Adami, and the woman's name was Heva—said to Heva: 'I believe I'll look about a little.' He went to the northern extremity of the island where there was a little narrow neck of land connecting it with the mainland, and the devil, who is always playing pranks with us, produced a mirage, and when he looked over to the mainland, such hills and vales, such dells and dales, such mountains crowned with snow, such cataracts clad in bows of glory did he see there, that he went back and told Heva: 'The country over there is a thousand times better than this; let us migrate.' She, like every other woman that ever lived, said: 'Let well enough alone; we have all we want; let us stay here.' But he said 'No, let us go;' so she followed him, and when they came to this narrow neck of land, he took her on his back like a gentleman, and carried her over. But the moment they got over they heard a crash, and looking back, discovered that this narrow neck of land had fallen into the sea. The mirage had disappeared, and there were naught but rocks and sand; and then the Supreme Brahma cursed them both to the lowest hell.Then it was that the man spoke,—and I have liked him ever since for it—'Curse me, but curse not her, it was not her fault, it was mine.'That's the kind of man to start a world with.The Supreme Brahma said: 'I will save her, but not thee.' And then she spoke out of her fullness of love, out of a heart in which there was love enough to make all her daughters rich in holy affection, and said: 'If thou wilt not spare him, spare neither me; I do not wish to live without him; I love him.' Then the Supreme Brahma said—and I have liked him ever since I read it—'I will spare you both and watch over you and your children forever.'Honor bright, is not that the better and grander story?
She had not heard him enter, and hardly realized his presence there. She was yawning, and he saw the red interior of her mouth as if it had been a snake's. She had stretched one arm so high above her coiled-up cable of hair that he could see its satin delicacy above the sunburn; her face was flushed with sleep, and her eyelids hung heavy over their pupils. The brim-fulness of her nature breathed from her. It was a moment when a woman's soul is more incarnate than at any other time; when the most spiritual beauty bespeaks itself flesh; and sex takes the outside place in the presentation.
As soon as he had left the room and walked into the air, he knew that he would never return and for the first time his fears lifted. It was a spring morning, and when he walked into Severndale Park he felt the breeze bringing back memories of a much earlier life, and he was at peace. He sat beneath a tree and looked up at its leaves in amazement - where once he might have gazed at them and sensed there only the confusion of his own thoughts, now each leaf was so clear and distinct that he could see the lightly coloured veins which carried moisture and life. And he looked down at his own hand, which seemed translucent beside the bright grass. His head no longer ached, and as he lay upon the earth he could feel its warmth beneath him.
She wondered If I had woken up, would I have smelled his sadness, his desperation, and his detachment? His death, her breath. He told her once, she remembers, these two words have no other rhyme but each other. If she could go back, she thinks -- She would open her eyes, instead of her heart.
The next minute he realized what had happened to him, but not before she’d caught him staring.For a decade, I was fixated by her beauty. I wrote an entire article on the evolutionary significance of beauty as a rebuke to myself, that I, who understood the concepts so well, nevertheless could not escape the magnetic pull of one particular woman’s beauty.She knew. With surgical precision, she had peeled back his layers of defenses, until his heart lay bare before her, all its shame and yearning exposed.He could have lived with this if only he’d kept his secret whole and buried. But she knew. She knew.
I must court her now,' said the Prince. 'Leave us alone for a minute.' He rode the white expertly down the hill.Buttercup had never seen such a giant beast. Or such a rider.'I am your Prince and you will marry me,' Humperdinck said.Buttercup whispered, 'I am your servant and I refuse.''I am your Prince and you cannot refuse.''I am your loyal servant and I just did.''Refusal means death.''Kill me then.''I am your Prince and I’m not that bad — how could you rather be dead than married to me?''Because,' Buttercup said, 'marriage involves love, and that is not a pastime at which I excel. I tried once, and it went badly, and I am sworn never to love another.' 'Love?' said Prince Humperdinck. 'Who mentioned love? Not me, I can tell you. Look: there must always be a male heir to the throne of Florin. That’s me. Once my father dies, there won’t be an heir, just a king. That’s me again. When that happens, I’ll marry and have children until there is a son. So you can either marry me and be the richest and most powerful woman in a thousand miles and give turkeys away at Christmas and provide me a son, or you can die in terrible pain in the very near future. Make up your own mind.''I’ll never love you.''I wouldn’t want it if I had it.''Then by all means let us marry.
All of us - all who knew her - felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on her. We were so beautiful when we stood astride her ugliness. Her simplicity decorated us, her guilt sanctified us, her pain made us glow with health, her awkwardness made us think we had a sense of humor. Her inarticulateness made us believe we were eloquent. Her poverty kept us generous. Even her waking dreams we used - to silence our own nightmares. And she let us, and thereby deserved our contempt. We honed our egos on her, padded our characters with her frailty, and yawned in the fantasy of our strength. And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved. We courted death in order to call ourselves brave and hid like thieves from life. We substituted good grammar for intellect; we switched habits to simulate maturity; we rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.
Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen—they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others.At first Esmenet thought this foolish. Was not the inner half the whole, what was only imperfectly apprehended by others? But Kellhus bid her to think of everything she’d witnessed in others. How many unwitting mistakes? How many flaws of character? Conceits couched in passing remarks. Fears posed as judgements …The shortcomings of men—their limits—were written in the eyes of those who watched them. And this was why everyone seemed so desperate to secure the good opinion of others—why everyone played the mummer. They knew without knowing that what they saw of themselves was only half of who they were. And they were desperate to be whole.The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves.Only afterward had she thought of Kellhus in these terms. With a kind of surpriseless shock, she realized that not once—not once!—had she glimpsed shortcomings in his words or actions. And this, she understood, was why he seemed limitless, like the ground, which extended from the small circle about her feet to the great circle about the sky. He had become her horizon.For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole …
Cheney brought my mother up to the casket, so she could pay her respects. She is in her 80's, and she has glaucoma and has trouble seeing. There were steps, and he left her there. He just stood there, letting her flounder. I don't think he's a mindful human being. That's probably the nicest way I can put it.
I didn't know what to think, but what I felt was magnetic and so big it ached like the moon had entered my chest and filled it up. The only think I could compare it to was the feeling I got one time when I walked from the peach stand and saw the sun spreading across the late afternoon, setting the top of the orchard on fire while darkness collected underneath. Silence had hovered over my head, beauty multiplying in the air, the trees so transparent I felt like I could see through t something pure inside them. My chest ached then, too, this very same way.
I was in a copse of pine trees, and the pine was overpowering my scent. The pheromones of the big cat mingled with the pine and I spun around. I was smelling and looking for the flash of white, but I couldn’t see it. I grew angry and I pawed at the earth. The aroma of the soil cleansed my nose as I leaned down and sniffed deeply. I slowly closed and opened my eyes. As I looked ahead I saw something. There, further on, I had another glimpse of the large white cat. She was stopped and her hindquarters were in the air. I stared, trying to figure out what she was doing. Her forepaws and head were on the ground, but her hind was wiggling. She was next to a tree, marking it, so I slowly paced in a zigzag pattern as I walked close to her. I was being cautious because poachers had been known to employ shifters to entice real animals in the wild. She turned her head and growled at me. I took it as an invite to come closer. I ran up to her and started circling. She was an albino panther as I thought. I paced closer, breathing deep. I was in the middle of Ohio, outside of a lost cougar and a few bobcats there were no big cats here, at least not counting lycanthropes, and this creature didn’t smell like one of those. Her rump almost wagged in anticipation, and I felt my tiger body respond.I circled her, taking a swipe in her direction to see if she was going to respond negatively to me. The pink eyes followed me and she growled. I walked up to her, sniffed her face and neckline. I didn’t smell any other male on her, and I walked to her raised rump. Burying my nose in her groin I smelled deeper, and she shifted her body. I felt it before I could see it. She was shifting, changing from albino panther to human. I sat on my hindquarters as I watched. Her white fur seemed to melt from her, sliding upwards, starting with her back legs. The flesh and fur on her feet slid forward, leaving human feet and calves. It was fully fleshed, unlike some lycanthrope changes when they’re younger. The calves of her legs appeared, and slowly slid up. The panther flesh was sliding forward, slowly and methodically. Across her ass and groin, now lower back and stomach. The pheromones I smelled earlier were coming from her, the human form. I stood and started pacing behind her, and her panther head shook in a very human gesture. I stopped, fighting the desire to lean forward and lick her wetness with my large tongue. The flesh was sliding forward and as her teats turned into breasts, I growled in need. Next were her shoulders and arms, then her head and hands. As the transformation ended, there was a pile of fur and flesh lying in front of her. Her human form was beautiful; a full figured woman with long white hair, that was perfectly natural. She looked to be in her early forties, but didn’t have a line on her face that she didn’t want. In the corners of her eyes were small, but beautiful, crow’s feet, laugh lines surrounded her mouth. She laid out with her former form under her, laying on it, propped up by her elbows. She smiled with the confidence of someone who was used to being in charge. Her long hair flowed around her shoulders, framing her body. She reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t figure out who.
The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.'Why do you weep?' the goddesses asked.'I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.'Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,' they said, 'for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.''But... was Narcissus beautiful?' the lake asked.'Who better than you to know that?' the goddesses asked in wonder. 'After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!'The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:'I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.''What a lovely story,' the alchemist thought.
Indira was surrounded by people who had given up hope, who blamed their own misery on the influence of Christianity and western cultures, and yet, literally in the midst of squalor, her family had created a place of real beauty. It really makes you stop and think. Uncle Google should be spitting out eight hundred million things American schools have done right. The fact things are so screwed up makes no sense. If you believe Uncle Google, then we’ve done the exact opposite from Indira’s family—in the land of hope and plenty we’ve created a place that’s ugly. We have so much. Can things really be so bad? Maybe we can’t fix our schools because as individuals we’ve never truly been broken. Or maybe Chinese lanterns make everyone wax philosophical.
13NOTESShe hesitated. For two years she had kept as far away from Mikael Blomkvist as she could. And yet he kept sticking to her life like gum on the sole of her shoe, either on the Net or in real life. On the Net it was O.K. There he was no more than electrons and words. In real life, standing on her doorstep, he was still fucking attractive. And he knew her secrets just as she knew all of his. She looked at him for a moment and realized that she now had no feelings for him. At least not those kinds of feelings. He had in fact been a good friend to her over the past year. She trusted him. Maybe. It was troubling that one of the few people she trusted was a man she spent so much time avoiding. Then she made up her mind. It was absurd to pretend that he did not exist. It no longer hurt her to see him. She opened the door wide and let him into her life again.
I sat up in the strange bed fearing it had been a dream, afraid I would never see her again. Not because I wanted anything from her, only her presence. The disappearance of the presence of beauty is the most despairing of events on this time-wheel of ours that rolls onward towards death.
She sat up, cheeks flushed and golden hair tousled. She was so beautiful that it made my soul ache. I always wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill. She collected her brown blouse and buttoned it up, hiding the brightness of turquoise lace with the conservative attire she liked to armor herself in. She’d done an overhaul of her bras in the last month, and though I was always sad to see them disappear, it made me happy to know they were there, those secret spots of color in her life.
Julian," she said huskily, "you were right the other morning. You know me so well. I'm not made for illicit affaires, all that sneaking around to avoid discovery." In the dark, her hands crept up to his shoulders, then his face. Her finger teased through his hair. "Why should we hide at all? Let all London see us together. I don't care what anyone says or thinks. I love you, and I want the world to know."He wanted to weep. For joy, for frustration. She was so brave, his beautiful Lily, and the situation was so damned unfair. It wasn't her fault that she made these heartrending declarations at a moment when their lives were probably in danger and he couldn't possibly reciprocate. That fault was his, for choosing to live the way he had and making the decisions he'd made. He didn't deserve her, didn't deserve her love. He most certainly didn't merit those warm brushes of her lips against his skin. But damned if he could bring himself to stop them."We're in love, Julian. Isn't it wonderful?""No," he murmured as she kissed him again. "It's not wonderful. It's a disaster." Her lips grazed his jaw, then his throat. "I can feel you speaking, and I know you're probably making some valiant protest. But you know I can't hear those words. Your body is making an altogether different argument, and I'm listening to it." Her fingers crept inside his waistcoat, splaying over the thin lawn of his shirt. "Take your heart, for example."Yes, take it. Take it and keep it, always.
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting. I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again. In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating--what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy. I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain. Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
Peeta, you said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair...it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up."Your father? Why?"He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.'"What? You’re making that up!"No, true story. And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.
The plane banked, and he pressed his face against the cold window. The ocean tilted up to meet him, its dark surface studded with points of light that looked like constellations, fallen stars. The tourist sitting next to him asked him what they were. Nathan explained that the bright lights marked the boundaries of the ocean cemeteries. The lights that were fainter were memory buoys. They were the equivalent of tombstones on land: they marked the actual graves. While he was talking he noticed scratch-marks on the water, hundreds of white gashes, and suddenly the captain's voice, crackling over the intercom, interrupted him. The ships they could see on the right side of the aircraft were returning from a rehearsal for the service of remembrance that was held on the ocean every year. Towards the end of the week, in case they hadn't realised, a unique festival was due to take place in Moon Beach. It was known as the Day of the Dead......When he was young, it had been one of the days he most looked forward to. Yvonne would come and stay, and she'd always bring a fish with her, a huge fish freshly caught on the ocean, and she'd gut it on the kitchen table. Fish should be eaten, she'd said, because fish were the guardians of the soul, and she was so powerful in her belief that nobody dared to disagree. He remembered how the fish lay gaping on its bed of newspaper, the flesh dark-red and subtly ribbed where it was split in half, and Yvonne with her sleeves rolled back and her wrists dipped in blood that smelt of tin.It was a day that abounded in peculiar traditions. Pass any candy store in the city and there'd be marzipan skulls and sugar fish and little white chocolate bones for 5 cents each. Pass any bakery and you'd see cakes slathered in blue icing, cakes sprinkled with sea-salt.If you made a Day of the Dead cake at home you always hid a coin in it, and the person who found it was supposed to live forever. Once, when she was four, Georgia had swallowed the coin and almost choked. It was still one of her favourite stories about herself. In the afternoon, there'd be costume parties. You dressed up as Lazarus or Frankenstein, or you went as one of your dead relations. Or, if you couldn't think of anything else, you just wore something blue because that was the colour you went when you were buried at the bottom of the ocean. And everywhere there were bowls of candy and slices of special home-made Day of the Dead cake. Nobody's mother ever got it right. You always had to spit it out and shove it down the back of some chair. Later, when it grew dark, a fleet of ships would set sail for the ocean cemeteries, and the remembrance service would be held. Lying awake in his room, he'd imagine the boats rocking the the priest's voice pushed and pulled by the wind. And then, later still, after the boats had gone, the dead would rise from the ocean bed and walk on the water. They gathered the flowers that had been left as offerings, they blew the floating candles out. Smoke that smelt of churches poured from the wicks, drifted over the slowly heaving ocean, hid their feet. It was a night of strange occurrences. It was the night that everyone was Jesus......Thousands drove in for the celebrations. All Friday night the streets would be packed with people dressed head to toe in blue. Sometimes they painted their hands and faces too. Sometimes they dyed their hair. That was what you did in Moon Beach. Turned blue once a year. And then, sooner or later, you turned blue forever.
I had to clear up my messy life. By letting go of the debris and filth, I have come to a deeper, more soulful beauty and clarity like an oasis in the desert. From that place of clarity, a vision of what I could have, what I could do, who I could be has emerged if I allow my heart to become a place of compassion, acceptance and forgiveness.
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it?The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film.This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
He had green eyes, so I wanted to sleep with him. Green eyes flecked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool. You could drown in those eyes, I said. The fact of his pulse, the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire, not to disturb the air around him. Everyone could see the way his muscles worked, the way we look like animals, his skin barely keeping him inside. I wanted to take him home, and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his like a crash test car. I wanted to be wanted, and he was very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving. You could drown in those eyes, I said, so it's summer, so it's suicide, so we're helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
There were days so clear and skies so brilliant blue, with white clouds scudding across them like ships under full sail, and she felt she could lift right off the ground. One moment she was ambling down a path, and the next thing she knew, the wind would take hold of her, like a hand pushing against her back. Her feet would start running without her even willing it, even knowing it. And she would run faster and faster across the prairie, until her heart jumped like a rabbit and her breath came in deep gasps and her feet barely skimmed the ground.It felt good to spend herself this way. The air tasted fresh and delicious; it smelled like damp earth, grass, and flowers. And her body felt strong, supple, and hungry for more of everything life could serve up.She ran and felt like one of the animals, as though her feet were growing up out of the earth. And she knew what they knew, that sometimes you ran just because you could, because of the way the rush of air felt on your face and how your legs reached out, eating up longer and longer patches of ground.She ran until the blood pounded in her ears, so loud that she couldn't hear the voices that said, You're not good enough, You're not old enough, You're not beautiful or smart or loveable, and you will always be alone.She ran because there were ghosts chasing her, shadows that pursued her, heartaches she was leaving behind. She was running for her life, and those phantoms couldn't catch her, not here, not anywhere. She would outrun fear and sadness and worry and shame and all those losses that had lined up against her like a column of soldiers with their guns shouldered and ready to fire. If she had to, she would outrun death itself.She would keep on running until she dropped, exhausted. Then she would roll over onto her back and breathe in the endless sky above her, sun glinting off her face.To be an animal, to have a body like this that could taste, see hear, and fly through space, to lie down and smell the earth and feel the heat of the sun on your face was enough for her. She did not need anything else but this: just to be alive, cool air caressing her skin, dreaming of Ivy and what might be ahead.
Cinderella was such a dork. She left behind her glass slipper at the ball and then went right back to her step-monster's house. It seems to me she should have worn the glass slipper always, to make herself easier to find. I always hoped that after the prince found Cinderella and they rode away in their magnificent carriage, after a few miles she turned to him and said, "Could you drop me off down the road please? Now that I've finally escaped my life of horrific abuse, I'd like to see something of the world, you know?... I'll catch back up with you later, Prince, once I've found my own way.
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father.But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.Are those real islands?' asked the young prince.Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress.And those strange and troubling creatures?'They are all genuine and authentic princesses.'Then God must exist!' cried the prince.I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow.The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.So you are back,' said the father, the king.I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved.Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully.The king was unmoved.Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.'I saw them!'Tell me how God was dressed.'God was in full evening dress.'Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?'The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.'At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.'The man on the shore smiled.It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.'The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes.Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?'The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves.Yes, my son, I am only a magician.'Then the man on the shore was God.'The man on the shore was another magician.'I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.'There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king.The prince was full of sadness.He said, 'I will kill myself.'The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.'You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician.