“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”
“Don't think you haven't lived long enough to have a story to tell.”
“Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.”
“Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?
"I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."
The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”
“Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt.”
“Stories don't always have happy endings."
This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect.”
“I wish I had a hundred years, she said, very quietly. A hundred years I could give to you.”
“There was once an invisible man who had grown tired of being unseen. It was not that he was actually invisible. It was that people had become used to not seeing him.
And if no one sees you, are you really there at all?"”
“You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.”
“Sometimes people need to lie to themselves most of all.”
“Conor held tightly onto his mother.
And by doing so, he could finally let her go.”
“If you speak the truth, the monster whispered in his ear, you will be able to face whatever comes.”
“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”
“But what is a dream, Conor O'Malley? the monster said, bending down so it's face was close to Conor's. Who is to say that it is not everything else that is the dream?”
“The justifications of men who kill should always be heard with skepticism, said the monster.”
“You be as angry as you need to be,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not your grandma, not your dad, no one. And if you need to break things, then by God, you break them good and hard.”
“Many things that are true feel like a cheat. Kingdoms get the princes they deserve, farmers’ daughters die for no reason, and sometimes witches merit saving. Quite often, actually. You’d be surprised.”
“Who am I? the monster repeated, still roaring. I am the spine that the mountains hang upon! I am the tears that the rivers cry! I am the lungs that breathe the wind! I am the wolf that kills the stag, the hawk that kills the mouse, the spider that kills the fly! I am the stag, the mouse and the fly that are eaten! I am the snake of the world devouring its tail! I am everything untamed and untameable! It brought Conor up close to its eye. I am thils wild earth, come for you, Conor O'Malley.
"You look like a tree," Conor said.”
“Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect.”
“Conor was no longer invisible. They all saw him now.
But he was further away than ever.”
“You think I tell you stories to teach you lessons? the monster said. You think I have coming walking out of time and earth itself to teach you a lesson in niceness?”
“There was once an invisible man, the monster continued, though Conor kept his eyes firmly on Harry, who had grown tired of being unseen.
Conor set himself into a walk.
A walk after Harry.
It was not that he was actually invisible, the monster said, following Conor, the room volume dropping as they passed. It was that the people had become used to not seeing him.
"Hey!" Conor called. Harry didn't turn around. Neither did Sully nor Anton, though thet were still sniggering as Conor picked up his pace.
And if no one sees you, the monster said, picking up its pace, too, are you really there at all?
"HEY!" Conor called loudly.
The dining hall had fallen silent now, as Conor and the monster moved faster after Harry.
Harry who had still not turned around.
Conor reached him and grabbed him by the shoulder, twisting him round. Harry pretended to question what had happened, looking hard at Sully, acting like he was the one who'd done it. "Quit messing about," Harry said and turned away again.
Turned away from Conor.
And then one day the invisible man decided, the monster said, its voice ringing in Conor's ears, I will make them see me.
"How?" Conor asked, breathing heavily again, not turning back to see the monster standing there, not looking at the reaction of the room to the huge monster now in the midst, though he was aware of nervous murmurs and a strange anticipation in the air. "How did the man do it?"
Conor could feel the monster close behind him, knew that it was kneeling, knew that it was putting its face up to his ear to whisper into in, to tell him the rest of the story.
He called, it said for a monster.”
“And here was a man who lived on belief, but who sacrificed it at the first challenge, right when he needed it most.”
“Because I'm not blind to how Harry works, you know," she said. "A bully with charisma and top marks is still a bully." She sighed, annoyed. "He'll probably end up Prime Minister one day. God help us all.”
“I did not come to heal her, the monster said. I came to heal you.”
“What do you want of God, Roman?” It was an imperious question from so small a boy, and was said with a curious blend of humility and demand. “I’ll know when I face him.” “Perhaps the answers you seek can’t be found in something you can see and touch.” Amused, Marcus smiled. “You have big thoughts for a small boy.” The boy grinned. “A shepherd has time to think.” “Then, my little philosopher, what would you advise?” The boy’s smile faded. “When you face God, remember he is God.” “I’ll remember what he’s done,” Marcus said coldly. “That, too,” the boy said almost gently.”
“A fight is like a fire. You think you have it under control, you think you can stop it whenever you want, but before you know it, it’s living, breathing thing and there’s no controlling it and you were a fool to think you could.”
“Despite popular belief, hitting someone with a closed fist actually hurts the hitter almost as much as the hittee.”
“Evolution, or its driving engine natural selection, has no foresight. In every generation within every species, the individuals best equipped to survive and reproduce contribute more than their fair share of genes to the next generation. The consequence, blind as it is, is the nearest approach to foresight that nature permits. [...] It is always tinkering: here shrinking a bit, there expanding a bit, constantly adjusting, putting on and taking off, optimising immediate reproductive success. Survival in future centuries doesn’t enter into the calculation, for the good reason that it isn’t really a calculation at all. It all happens automatically, as some genes survive in the gene pool and others don’t.”
“It was a “severe” disappointment to Henry Wilson who laid it all at the door of Kitchener and the Cabinet for having sent only four divisions instead of six. Had all six been present, he said with that marvelous incapacity to admit error that was to make him ultimately a Field Marshal, “this retreat would have been an advance and defeat would have been a victory.”
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