Quotes from Chime

Franny Billingsley ·  361 pages

Rating: (12K votes)


“If you say a word, it leaps out and becomes the truth. I love you. I believe it. I believe I am loveable. How can something as fragile as a word build a whole world?”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I don't like my shoes,' said Rose.
'I'm wearing my shoes and you don't see me complain.'
'You only hear a person complain,' said Rose. 'Not see.'
How has Rose lived for seventeen years and no one has killed her, not once?”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“This is what I want. I want people to take care of me. I want them to force comfort upon me. I want the soft-pillow feeling that I associate with memories of being ill when I was younger, soft pillows and fresh linens and satin-edged blankets and hot chocolate. It's not so much the comfort itself as knowing there's someone who wants to take care of you.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“It's one thing to keep secrets. It's quite another to lie.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Witches don’t look like anything. Witches are. Witches do.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime



“Guess what it is that turns plants to coal.
Pressure.
Guess what it is that turns limestone to marble.
Pressure.
Guess what it is that turns Briony's heart to stone.
Pressure.
Pressure is uncomfortable, but so are the gallows. Keep your secrets, wolfgirl. Dance your fists with Eldric's, snatch lightning from the gods. Howl at the moon, at the blood-red moon. Let your mouth be a cavern of stars.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“A poem doesn’t come out and tell you what it has to say. It circles back on itself, eating its own tail and making you guess what it means.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I might be a wicked girl who'd think nothing of eating a baby for breakfast, but I'd never allow myself to get expelled. It's far too public.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Yes, I'm shallow, I don't mind admitting it. Perhaps I should admit that there's no end to the depths of my shallowness.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“You mind your tongue!”
“Oh, I do,” I said. “I sharpen it every evening on your name.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime



“You could at least complain,” I say. “I adore complaining. It calms the nerves.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Secrets press inside a person. They press the way water presses at a dam. The secrets and the water, they both want to get out.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“It's strange how a person can have a distinct distaste for herself, but still she clutches on to life.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“When Rose takes to screaming, she starts loud, continues loud, and ends loud. Rose has a very good ear and always screams on the same note. I'd tested her before I burnt the library, and our piano along with it.
Rose screams on the note B flat.
We don't need a piano anymore now that we have a human tuning fork.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Father sighed. “Please spare me these arguments of yours.”

“Whose arguments should I use?”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime



“The boy shall have a proper beating,' said Cecil.
'But I beat him already,' I said, 'and don't tell me I didn't do it properly. I'm touchy about these things.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I don't mean to be ungrateful but if someone's out there answering prayers, mine's not at the top of the list”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I was asking about lust, wasnʼt I? I was fairly certain of it. But isnʼt love supposed
to come before lust? It does in the dictionary.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“There are no preconditions for jealousy. You don't have to be right, you don't have to be reasonable. Take Othello. He was neither right nor reasonable, and Desdemona ended up dead. I wouldn't mind Leanne ending up dead. I wouldn't mind exploding her into fireworks of peacock and pearl.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I felt as though I were a music box in want of winding. Yes, as though I were a music box and the tune were my life, playing more and more slowly with every passing day. Finally, not even I could recognize it. The notes were stretched too far apart. They were no longer notes, they were plinks. I wound down to a plink.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime



“I hated myself, but I also loved myself in a hateful way.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Eldric turned away from the mirror, holding out his hand. In the cup of his hand lay his fidget of paper clips. But the fidget had blossomed into a crown. An allover-filigree crown, with a twisty spire marking the front.
I stared at it for some moments. "It's for you," said Eldric. "If you want it."
"I'm seventeen," I said. "I haven't played at princess for years."
"Does that matter ?" Eldric set it on my head. It was almost weightless, a true crown for the steam age.
In a proper story, antagonistic sparks would fly between Eldric and me, sparks that would sweeten the inevitable kiss on page 324. But life doesn't work that way. I didn't hate Eldric, which, for me, is about as good as things get.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“But witchy magic doesn’t listen to please and pretty please, and anyway, I didn’t really care. I only pretended to care because not caring makes me a monster.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please.

I don't mean to be difficult, but I can't bear to tell my story. I can't relive those memories—the touch of the Dead Hand, the smell of eel, the gulp and swallow of the swamp. How can you possibly think me innocent? Don't let my face fool you; it tells the worst lies. A girl can have the face of an angel but have a horrid sort of heart.

I know you believe you're giving me a chance—or, rather, it's the Chime Child giving me the chance. She's desperate, of course, not to hang an innocent girl again, but please believe me: Nothing in my story will absolve me of guilt. It will only prove what I've already told you, which is that I'm wicked. Can't the Chime Child take my word for it?

In any event, where does she expect me to begin? The story of a wicked girl has no true beginning. I'd have to begin with the day I was born.

If Eldric were to tell the story, he'd likely begin with himself, on the day he arrived in the Swampsea. That's where proper stories begin, don't they, when the handsome stranger arrives and everything goes wrong?

But this isn't a proper story, and I'm telling you, I ought to be hanged.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“When we were small, Rose and I used to play a game called connect the dots. I loved it. I loved drawing a line from dot number 1 to dot number 2 and so on. Most of all, I loved the moment when the chaotic sprinkle of dots resolved itself into a picture.

That's what stories do. They connect the random dots of life into a picture. But it's all an illusion. Just try to connect the dots of life. You'll end up with a lunatic scribble.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime



“Death had no lips, but it was smiling”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“I should hate to be a regular girl with a sugar-plum voice. I should hate to have swan-like lashes, and a thick, sooty neck. I sound as though I’m joking, I know, but I should truly hate to be like Leanne, so charming and ordinary and stuffed with clichéd feelings. I’m glad I’m the ice maiden. Who wants to be crying over every stray dog? Not I.

Scratch my surface and what do you see? More surface.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“Father’s silence is not merely the absence of sound. It’s a creature with a life of its own. It chokes you. It pinches you small as a grain of rice. It twists in your gut like a worm.
Silence clawed at my throat. It left a taste of burnt matches.”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


“How can something as fragile as a word build the whole world?”
― Franny Billingsley, quote from Chime


About the author

Franny Billingsley
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