“So, ah, I'm not sure if you know this, but you're not wearing a shirt."
"Distracting, isn't it?”
“It's the intent, not the word, that makes something harsh.”
“I highly regret this day in advance.”
“If you want to touch me, Kendall, touch me. Don't hide behind those little girl slaps.”
“Jacian Obregon. It sounds like a melody. Or a tragedy.”
“A trapped soul waits for redemption.
It waits. And waits.
For her to take her last breath.”
We feel the heat, and for a moment, We believe! Life is back. But this heat is intense, not gentle. Not submissive but searing. Painful.
We moan, scream, Our face cracking like gunfire... like a whip. Thirty-five, one hundred. One hundred! ONE HUNDRED!
The fire consumes our wooden host. It burns, breaks, explodes. Releases Our remaining souls to travel to Our final resting places.
To find new places to hide.
“Go force your condescending man-logic on the next house. You can go now.”
When it is over, we breathe and ache like old oak, like peeling birch. One of Our lost souls set free. We move, a chess piece in a dark room, cast-iron legs moving a centimeter at a time, crying out in silent carved graffiti. Calling to Our next victim, Our next savior. We carve on Our face:
Save my soul. ”
“Jacián!" She yells again, and then she says something in Spanish.
A moment later he comes down the hallway. "I'm going to tell Grandfather you said that," he says. "What do you want?”
“She knows some of her thoughts are irrational. She knows it and has always known it, even in fifth grade, when she used to layer on clothes - four shirts, three pairs of underwear, shorts under her jeans - anxiously, frantically crying her eyes out for fear people could see her naked through her clothes.
What an awful time that was. Fear like that is constant, tiring.”
“People seem to deny the existence of animal emotions so that they can continue to justify inhumane treatment and exploitation and avoid the fact that our actions have a deep emotional impact on our fellow beings.”
“I suppose some were born acting, some achieve action, and some have action thrust upon while they wail feebly ‘Dear God, no, let me sleep in.’ I’m only acting once, and then never again.”
“That's something I've always fond odd, people smile when they're sad. There's no such thing as a sad smile.”
“There was a man who loved the moon, but whenever he tried to embrace her, she broke into a thousand pieces and left him drenched, with empty arms.”
“He was still on his feet, and before him was a man who stood in the path of...what? Of a great many things, his own dream of Gorhaut not least of all. Of what his home should be, in the eyes of the world, in the sight of Corannos, in his own soul. He had said this two nights ago, words very like this, King Daufridi of Valensa. He's been asked if he loved his country.
He did. He loved it with a heart that ached like an old man's fingers in rain, hurting for the Gorhaut of his own vision, a land worthy of the god who had chosen it, and of the honour of men. Not a place of scheming wiles, of a degraded, sensuously corrupt king, of people dispossessed of their lands by a cowardly treaty, or of ugly designs under the false, perverted aegis of Corannos for nothing less than annihilation here south of the mountains.”
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