“Life isn't fair. Why should death be any different?”
“The list of scars my students have sustained at the hand of your daughter grows longer each week. Poor Logan Hochspring's arm will forever carry an imprint of her dental records!"
"You bit him?" Lex's father said.
"He called me a wannabe vampire. What was I supposed to do?"
"Oh, I don't know--maybe not bite him?”
“Seriously?" she said with a glance of skepticism. Driggs and this nerdlinger? "You guys are best friends?"
Ferbus looked up briefly to give her a smug look. "We prefer the term heterosexual life mates.”
“She wished, as almost all kids wish at one point or another, that she could turn into a pterodactyl and fly away and never come back.”
“Let me tell you something right now, something that I don't want you ever to forget: Starbucks is an abomination."
Lex was speechless. She now believed that there was no way in a million years this man could possibly be a blood relative.”
“Momentarily forgetting how wind works, Lex tried spitting at him. This failed”
“Let me go!" She tore off a mirror and brandished it in his face. "I mean it! I don't want to go to your godforsaken hellbarn, you retarded psycho farmer!”
“The boy took a step toward her. Lex jumped back, her contentious instincts kicking in. "Stop right there," she warned. "I punch, I kick, and I feel compelled to warn you, I can bite harder than the average Amazonian crocodile."
He smirked and leaned against the doorframe. "And I feel compelled to warn YOU that the bathroom we now share has a leaky ceiling," he said, pointing up. "There's an umbrella under the sink, if you're going to be in here for a while.”
“Hey there cutie," he said. "What's your name?"
Lex rolled her eyes and turned toward the window. "Kill me."
"Kimmy? I'm Steve," he went on undeterred.
"Cram it, Steve”
“For a moment she could have sworn she was standing in one of those history-comes-alive museums--the kind that feature animatronic robots, the narration stylings of James Earl Jones, and the sort of exhibits that invade children's nightmares for years to come. But instead of a cyborgish John Wilkes Booth discharging his deadly bullet into the back of a plastic Lincoln's head, a very real version of the assassin was engaged in a furious arm-wrestling match with Elvis Presley.
Lincoln was watching the tussle, amused. "Come on, John," he said. "You can do better than that."
"He's all talk," Elvis whispered back.
"Silence!" roared Booth. "I'm trying to concentrate!"
Lincoln rolled his eyes.”
“Just because it’s the biggest secret in the history of the world doesn’t make it any less true.”
“A crash of cymbals exploded in her ear. She opened her eyes to behold Driggs clanging them vigorously, a mischievous grin on his face and a large bruise surrounding his eye.
"I hope, for the sake of your fertility, you're wearing a cup," she warned through clenched teeth."
"Come on," he said, jumping onto to the mattress. "It's time for work."
Lex moaned. "How are you so awake already?"
"If you recall, I eat a lot of chocolate.”
“Should she go on? Or drop it? Maybe this was one of those things that people should keep to themselves, like a hatred of baby pandas or a passion for polka music. Everyone needs a secret or two.”
“Ah, bribery." He grinned at his niece. "is there anything it can't do?”
“Elysia!" Driggs interrupted. "Slow the hell down."
She grinned at Lex. "Sorry. I talk a lot when I get excited."
"That's okay," Lex said with an impish nod. "We all have our flaws. Driggs here loves Titanic."
Driggs folded his arms and studied the girls. "I can already see the ramifications of an alliance between you two. And they are troublesome.”
“And what in the name of all this is disturbing did you mean when you said you're going to teach me how to Kill people?"
He snickered. "You didn't really think you were going to spend the whole summer milking cows, did you?”
“He exuded the air of someone who hated this earth and everything on it and would be much happier if it just broke free of its orbit and hurled itself into the sun.”
“What?" he asked.
"Nothing. Your bony hands of death amuse me, that's all."
"Wait until yours look the same," he said, preparing to scythe.
"Wait - what?" She batted the sapphire blade out of his hands. "What do you mean? Is that why everyone around here has such creepy fingers?"
"Yeah." He bent down to pick up his scythe. "I don't know why it happens, though. Probably the same weird reason our hair goes all wonky."
"What?" she barked, knocking his scythe to the ground once more.
"What happens to our hair?"
He gestured to the disaster atop his head. "You think I want to look like a drunken hedgehog all the time? It's from hanging out in the ether so much. It messes with your follicles or something. Doesn't happen to everyone, but I can assure you that Ferbus's wasn't always the color of a prison jumpsuit, Zara wasn't born Silvylocks, and Mort's been rocking the electrocution look for years. Look, yours has gotten straighter already."
Lex ran a hand through her hair. It had lost some of its poofyness. There had been so many other circuses of insanity to deal with that she hadn't even noticed. It was calm, manageable, even - she shuddered to think it - sleek and shiny.
"Oh my God," she said in disgust. "I'm a shampoo commercial.”
“What happened to YOU old partner?" Lex asked him. "Suicide I take it?"
He frowned. "Worse - business school. Can you believe it? Two years of Croak, then one day the kid decided he wants to be the next Donald Trump. So we threw him in a car, dropped him off near Woodstock and now he think he spent the past two years in a drug-addled haze at some hippie commune.”
“Hey, one week, huh, Lex?" he said, tossing her a Cuff. "Here's your graduation gift."
"Sweet." she slid it onto her wrist. It felt cool, with a slight vibration to it. "Thanks."
"So, you feel all trained up? Driggs teach you everything he knows?"
"Yes. I'm now fully qualified to operate a can opener."
Driggs let out a sigh. "What a lovable scamp you've bestowed upon our fair town, Mort."
"My pleasure," he said to Driggs.”
“There comes a time in every young girl's life when she is instructed by a complete stranger to scale a tall ladder for dinner atop a roof, and in almost every case the best thing to do is refuse and run home to call the asylum from which the stranger escaped.”
“Then something happened in the next two seconds, but neither Lex nor Driggs would be able to recall exactly what. All they knew was that after it was over, their eyes met once again, this time in horror.
“Why did you just kiss my ear?” Lex asked nervously.
Driggs winced. “Because you turned your head.”
“I thought that tree . . . moved.”
Another moment of silence.
Driggs bit his lip. “Do you mind if I try again?”
She swallowed. “Okay.”
Then something else happened, and this time both Lex and Driggs would remember exactly what it was.”
“I wouldn't go around telling people about these shocks of yours."
"Why not?" Lex asked.
"It's like announcing to the would you have crabs. It's embarrassing, and no one'll ever shake your hand again.”
"No chemical works that instantly. You saw the guy - it looked like he was still reading his program."
"Then what, magical fairy dust? Vulcan death grip?"
"Focus, Lex. Wake up that lonely brain cell.”
“Lex froze. "What boy?"
"That boy I saw you with, before you came up to ring the bell. The windows of this house are fully functional, you know."
Lex didn't even bother with a lie this time. "His name is Driggs. He's my partner."
"Ah, partner. How very Law and Order."
"Shut up, that's just how it works."
"I see. And have you two had a romp in the hay yet, or would that upset Mr. Frizzle the rooster?”
“Why, you want me to hook you two up?"
Cordy eyed her, then let out a grunt. "Could you? Michael Thorley turned out to be an assclown, and the rest of this place is nothing but a barren wasteland of undateability. The only guy who's shown the slightest amount of interest in me this summer is Mr. Papadopoulos on the third floor of the nursing home. He says I have the ass of a Russian call girl."
“But they were her parents! Putting up with all of her crap was their official job - they couldn't wriggle out of it! She tried to swallow the lump forming in her throat. How could they do this to her?”
“Are we going to unload these things?" she asked, a trace of nervousness creeping into her voice. "They're starting to gross me out."
"They're just souls."
"But they're warm. Like eggs. I feel like a spawning salmon.”
“The festivities were broken up by Pandora, who lobbed a scoop of ice cream at Lex that landed on the table with a sticky sploosh.
“Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” she screeched, jigging back into the kitchen.”
“They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek; the visitors started in alarm, the women turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing--for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back; at the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley and went sailing down the room. And meantime another was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy--and squealing. The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums; one feared there was too much sound for the room to hold--that the walls must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests--and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.”
“Google' is not a synonym for 'research'.”
“And I wondered if love was too weak a word for what he felt, what he’d done for me. For what I felt for him.”
“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”
“but I have no mind for business and considered staying awake to be enough of an accomplishment.”
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