Endure for another day, Mister Tannen, and you'll have all the foul black misuse of water you can drink.
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Endure for another day, Mister Tannen, and you’ll have all the foul black misuse of water you can drink.

-Scott Lynch

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There was a few seconds' pause. Then Amit said: I meant, what were you thinking just now.When? said Lata.When you were looking at Pran and Savita. Over the pudding.Oh.Well, what?I can't remember, said Lata with a smile.Amit laughed.Why are you laughing? asked LataI like making you feel uncomfortable, I suppose.Oh. Why?--Or happy--or puzzled--just to see your change of mood. It's such fun. I pity you!Why? said Lata, startled.Because you'll never know what a pleasure it is to be in your company. Do stop talking like that, said Lata. Ma will come in any minute.You're quite right. In that case: Will you marry me?Lata dropped her cup. It fell to the floor and broke. She looked at the broken pieces--luckily, it has been empty--and then at Amit.Quick! said Amit. Before they come running to see what's happened. Say yes.Lata had knelt down; she was gathering he bits of the cup together and placing them on the delicately patterned blue-and-gold saucer.Amit joined her on the floor. Her face was only a few inches away from his, but her mind appeared to be somewhere else. he wanted to kiss her but he sensed that there was no question of it. One by one she picked up the shards of china.Was it a family heirloom? asked Amit.What? I'm sorry--said Lata, snapped out of her trance by the words. Well, I suppose I'll have to wait. I was hoping that by springing it on you like that I'd surprise you into agreeing......Do stop being idotic, Amit, said Lata. You're so brilliant, do you have to be so stupid as well? I should only take you seriously in black and white.And in sickness and health.Lata laughed: For better and for worse, she added.

-Vikram Seth

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Why aren't you in school? I see you every day wandering around.""Oh, they don't miss me," she said. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. "Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to lampposts, playing 'chicken' and 'knock hubcaps.' I guess I'm everything they say I am, all right. I haven't any friends. That's supposed to prove I'm abnormal. But everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another. Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?

-Ray Bradbury

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On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'" John 7:37-38 (NIV)As soon as we were old enough to understand fairy tales, we were told to start looking for the one.Someday my prince will come.Someday I'll find my love.As we got older, Prince Charming looked a bit different. Our teenage hearts thrilled when the latest vocal sensation sang about finding us and how our love would last forever.Wherever we turned, we were told our soul mate was waiting. And we were led to believe we were "less than" if we didn't find the one who would complete us!Even now, whether we're 15, 45 or 75, the equation hasn't changed: "Guy + Me = Valuable."So, if the movies, books and songs are so right, how come when we find the one, we can still feel like we're missing something? Why are there married people who are lonely with an emptiness that marriage can't fill? Our hearts can get confused if our reality doesn't match fantasy and we wonder:Maybe my one isn't really the one? Or, whether we're married or single, we might wonder, is the one for me still out there?In this place of uncertainty our hearts can grow perplexed. If we find ourselves in this vulnerable place of questioning, and all of a sudden a guy who seems to be the one enters the picture, it can stir up confusion.If we are married, we might wonder if we should walk away from a husband, who we thought was perfect for us, in order to have a new one, who seems more perfect. Singles might wonder if this guy is really a gift from God ... the one we've waited for?In my personal search to have my love gap filled, I have discovered there is The One for each and every one of us.It is Jesus Himself! He's The One our hearts are looking for. He's The One who is the filler of my lonely places and misunderstood parts.No matter what is going on in my roller coaster heart, Jesus' love for me is secure and stable. On the days when the relationship with my husband is everything I'm looking for, Jesus is The One. On the days when the cart of marriage is wobbly and off-kilter, He's still The One.Oh the relief Jesus brings to the rest of my relationships! When I turn to Him to fill the love gap in my heart, it takes the pressure off others! While my needy heart could wear my family out, Jesus is a continual source of unconditional love pouring into me. Not the type of filling that is once and done, but an endless supply ... each and every day.Listen to His promise in John 7:37-38, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."Ahhh ... the refreshing that comes when we discover He is The One we are looking for.What a relief my heart experiences as I stop looking to others to fill me and find Jesus as my constant, day after day, contentment. Take time today to go to Him and ask Him to fill up the empty places and refresh the areas of your heart that are dry. Jesus is The One and only who can fill and complete us.Lord, help me to recognize You are The One my heart is looking for. Each and every day, teach me to look to You to fill the love gap in my heart. Amen

-Lynn Cowell

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One day, as Sarita tended to the wash, Gemma played in the garden. She was a knight, you see, with a sword fashioned out of wood. Most formidable, she was, though I didn't quite know how formidable. As I sat in my study, I heard screaming from outside. I ran to see what the commotion was. Sarita called to me, wide-eyed with fear, "Oh, Mr. Doyle, look- over there!" The tiger had entered the garden and was making his way toward where our Gemma frolicked with her wooden sword. Beside me, our house servant, Raj, drew his blade so stealthily it seemed to simply appear in his hand by magic. But Sarita stayed his hand. "If you run for him with your life, you will provoke the tiger," she advised. "We must wait."...I must tell you that it was the longest moment of my life. No one dared move. No one dared draw a breath. And all the while, Gemma played on, taking no notice until the great cat was upon her. She stood and faced him. They stared at one another as if each wondered what to make of the other, as if they sensed a kindred spirit. At last, Gemma placed her sword upon the ground. "Dear tiger," she said. "You may pass if you are peaceful." The tiger looked at the sword and back at Gemma, and without a sound, it passed on, dissappearing into the jungle."..."The tiger had gone. He did not come around a gain. But I was a man possessed. The tiger had come too close, you see. I no longer felt safe. I hired the best tracker in Bombay. We hunted for days, tracking the tiger to the mountains there. We found him taking water from a small watering hole. He looked up but he did not charge. He took no notice of us at all but continued to drink. "Sahib, let us go," the boy said. "This tiger means you no harm." He was right, of course. But we had come all that way. The gun was in my hand. The tiger was before us. I took aim and shot it dead on the spot. I sold the tiger's skin for a fortune to a man in Bombay, and he called me brave for it. But it was not courage that brought me to that; it was fear..."But you," he says, smiling with a mix of sadness and pride, "you faced the tiger and survived."..."The time has come for me to face my tiger, to look him in the eye and see which of us survives." - Mr. Doyle

-Libba Bray

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Uphill? There's nothing up the hill," Colly said, trying desperately to work out where this conversation was going."As a matter of fact, there is. There's a bluff about twelve meters high, with a river running below it. The water's deep, so it'll be quite safe for you to jump." In his brief glimpse of the river, Halt had noticed that the fast-flowing water cut under the bluff in a sharp curve. That should mean that the bottom had been scoured out over the years. A thought struck him. "You can swim, I assume?""Yes. I can swim," Colly said. "But I'm going jumping off some bluff just because you say to!""No, no. Of course not. That'd be asking far too much of you. You'll jump off because if you don't, I'll shoot you. It'll be the same effect, really. If I have to shoot you, you'll fall off. But I thought I'd give you a chance to survive." Halt paused, then added, "Oh, and if you decide to run downhill, I'll also shoot you with an arrow. Uphill and off is really your only chance of survival.""You can't be serious!" Colly said. "Do you really-"But he got no further. Halt leaned forward, putting a hand up to stop the outburst."Colly, take a good, long look into my eyes and tell me if you see anything, anything at all, that says I'm not deadly serious."His eyes were deep brown, almost black. They were steady and unwavering and there was no sign of anything there but utter determination. Colly looked at them and after a few second, his eyes dropped away. halt nodded as the other man's gaze slid away from his."Good. Now we've got that settled, you should try to get some sleep. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.

-John Flanagan

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The tavern keeper, a wiry man with a sharp-nosed face, round, prominent ears and a receding hairline that combined to give him a rodentlike look, glanced at him, absentmindedly wiping a tankard with a grubby cloth. Will raised an eyebrow as he looked at it. He'd be willing to bet the cloth was transferring more dirt to the tankard then it was removing. "Drink?" the tavern keeper asked. He set the tankard down on the bar, as if in preparation for filling it with whatever the stranger might order. "Not out of that," Will said evenly, jerking a thumb at the tankard. Ratface shrugged, shoved it aside and produced another from a rack above the bar. "Suit yourself. Ale or ouisgeah?" Ousigeah, Will knew, was the strong malt spirit they distilled and drank in Hibernia. In a tavern like this, it might be more suitable for stripping runt than drinking. "I'd like coffee," he said, noticing the battered pot by the fire at one end of the bar. "I've got ale or ouisgeah. Take your pick." Ratface was becoming more peremptory. Will gestured toward the coffeepot. The tavern keeper shook his head. "None made," he said. "I'm not making a new pot just for you." "But he's drinking coffee," Will said, nodding to one side. Inevitably the tavern keeper glanced that way, to see who he was talking about. The moment his eyes left Will, an iron grip seized the front of his shirt collar, twisting it into a knot that choked him and at the same time dragged him forward, off balance, over the bar,. The stranger's eyes were suddenly very close. He no longer looked boyish. The eyes were dark brown, almost black in this dim light, and the tavern keeper read danger there. A lot of danger. He heard a soft whisper of steel, and glancing down past the fist that held him so tightly, he glimpsed the heavy, gleaming blade of the saxe knife as the stranger laid it on the bar between them. He looked around for possible help. But there was nobody else at the bar, and none of the customers at the tables had noticed what was going on. "Aach...mach co'hee," he choked. The tension on his collar eased and the stranger said softly, "What was that?" "I'll...make...coffee," he repeated, gasping for breath. The stranger smiled. It was a pleasant smile, but the tavern keep noticed that it never reached those dark eyes. "That's wonderful. I'll wait here.

-John Flanagan

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My darling Julie, I know you'll never see this letter, but it helps to write to you every day. It keeps you close to me. G-d, I miss you so. You haunt every hour of my life. I wish I'd never met you. No-I don't mean that! What good would my life be without my memories of you to make me smile. I keep wondering if you're happy. I want you to be. I want you to have a glorious life. That's why I couldn't say the things I knew you wanted to hear when we were together. I was afraid if I did, you'd wait for me for years. I knew you wanted me to say I loved you. Not saying that to you was the only unselfish thing I did in Colorado, and I now I regret even that. I love you, Julie. Christ, I love you so much. I'd give up all my life to have one year with you. Six months. Three. Anything. You stole my heart in just a few days, darling, but you gave me your heart, too. I know you did- I could see it in your eyes every time you looked at me. I don't regret the loss of my freedom any more or rage at the injustice of the years I spent in prison. Now, my only regret is that I can't have you. You're young, and I know you'll forget about me quickly and go on with your own life. That's exactly what you should do. It's what you must do. I want you to do that, Julie.That's such a lousy lie. What I really want is to see you again, to hold you in my arms, to make love to you over and over again until I've filled you so completely that there's no room left inside of you for anyone but me, ever. I never thought of sexual intercourse as 'making love' until you. You never knew that.....I wish I had time to write you a better letter or that I'd kept one of the others I've written so I could send that instead. They were all much more coherent than this one. I won't send another letter to you, so don't watch for one. Letters will make us both hope and dream, and if I don't stop doing that, I will die of wanting you.Before I go--I see from the newspapers that Costner has a new movie coming out in the States. If you dare to start fantasizing over Kevin after you see it, I will haunt you for the rest of your life.I love you, Julie. I loved in Colorado. I love you here, where I am. I will always love you. Everywhere. Always.

-Judith McNaught

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