“Have you noticed how difficult it is just to get along in the world? If you're no good at all in your job, people treat you badly and eventually you will be unemployed. And if you're a little better than competent, everyone expects miracles from you, every single time. Like most of life, it's a no-win situation. And if you dare to mention it, no matter how creatively you phrase your complaints, you are shunned as a whiner.”
“No big deal. We all have blood in us, the trick is keeping it inside.”
“As I've said, freedom is really an illusion. Anytime we think we have a real choice, it just means we haven't seen the shotgun aimed at our navel.”
“...my conscience has the same hard reality as a unicorn.”
“They like to tell us that it is important to speak the truth, but it has been my experience that real happiness lies in having people tell you what you want to believe, usually not the same thing at all, and if you have to stub your toe on the truth later, so be it.”
“I looked around the store and what I saw was not very encouraging. There were rows and rows of violent toys...aisle after aisle of training devices for recreational slaughter. No wonder our world was such a mean and violent place...if we teach children that killing is fun, can we really be surprised if now and then someone is smart enough to learn?”
“Money to me had always been merely something the sheep used to show each other how wonderful they were.”
“It was clear to me that it wouldn't matter what I did - they would never truly appreciate me or learn what I had to offer. They were far beyond fickle - they were insensible, like kittens,predatory little things, distracted by the first bit of string or shiny bauble that rolled across the floor, and nothing I could ever say or do could possibly make any kind of dent in their willful ignorance.”
“Could this be the Apocalypse ?”
“I suppose I should have died right then from pure misery and self-pity, but if those things were fatal, no one would ever make it past thirteen years old.”
“Dexter,' Debs said, jerking her head at me. 'Get some smelling salts or something. You and Deke help her up.'
(...) Deke looked at me anxiously, reminding me very much of a large and handsome dog who needs a stick to fetch. 'Hey, you got some of that smelling stuff?' he said.
Apparently it had become universally accepted that Dexter was the Eternal Keeper of the Smelling Salts.
I had no idea where that baffling canard had come from, but in truth, I was completely without.
Luckily, Mrs Aldovar apparently was not interested in sniffing anything.”
“He was blond, about six feet tall, muscular, and absurdly good-looking in a rugged, masculine way, as if God had taken Brad Pitt and decided to make him really handsome.”
“Chapin was secured in the backseat—the motor-pool cars had rings bolted to the floor for just that reason—and he sat in his durance vile mumbling, ranting, threatening, and overusing the same naughty word.”
“It is a well-worn truth that cops grow callous, a cliché so tattered that it is even common on television. All cops face things every day that are so gruesome, brutal, and bizarre that no normal human being could deal with them on a daily basis and stay sane. And so they learn not to feel, to grow and maintain a poker-faced whimsy toward all the surprising things their fellow humans find to do to each other. All cops practice not-feeling, and it may be that Miami cops are better at it than others, since they have so many opportunities to learn.”
“Deke looked at me anxiously, reminding me very much of a large and handsome dog who needs a stick to fetch.”
“The elevator thumped to a stop. The doors slid open and a dozen people began to stampede inside. “Walk me to my car,” Alana said above the crowd, and she moved forward through the pedestrians with absolute confidence that they would melt away at her approach. Somehow, they all did. Deborah”
“The meeting broke up to the sound of squeaking chairs, shuffling feet, and cop chatter, as everyone sitting stood up and formed into little conversation groups with those already standing—except for Major Nelson of the Highway Patrol, who just jammed his hat onto his closely cropped head and marched out the door as if the “Colonel Bogey March” was playing. The huge man from the tribal police, Weems, sauntered over to talk to Chambers, and Special Agent Recht sat by herself and looked around the room, quietly disapproving. Hood caught her eye and shook his head.”
“Special Agent Recht looked at me, then stared across the room to where Deborah was talking to the captain. “What a family,” she said, and walked past me to rejoin her generic-looking partner. I thought of several very good comebacks that would have put her neatly in her place, but after all, her place was actually several rungs above mine on the food chain, so I just called out, “Have a nice day,” to her back and headed out the door to my car.”
“I caught them just as they were pushing through the door to the garage and heard the tail end of what sounded like a rather querulous question from Deborah. “… supposed to believe you?” she was saying. Alana moved briskly through the door and into the parking area. “Because, ducks,” she said, “Bobby is jeopardizing everything I have worked for.” “Worked?” Deborah said scornfully. “Isn’t that kind of a strong word for what you do?” “Oh, I assure you, it’s work,” Alana said. “Starting at the beginning, with My Recording Career.” She said the words like they were the title of a foolish and boring book. “But believe me, a musical career is very hard work, especially if you have no talent, like me.” She smiled fondly at Debs. “A great deal of it involves fucking terribly unpleasant people, of course. I’m sure you’ll grant me that that isn’t easy.”
“Deborah looked at me with a frown, and I frowned back. What Alana said made sense, of course, especially to someone untroubled by human feelings, like I used to be. It was clinically cold reasoning, serpentine but clear, and that certainly fit what we were coming to know about Alana. And yet—something was wrong with it, whether it was the way she said it or something else, I couldn’t say; it didn’t quite add up for me.”
“But it also called for a certain amount of Dexter’s newfound Lily Anne–born compassion, since I could tell that without my help, my sister was going to prove once and for all that there really was something to the idea of spontaneous combustion.”
“She looked at me, and then I knew what was wrong, because I saw something very dark and leather-winged at the back of her eyes, just for a moment, before the cover of icy amusement slid back into place on her face. “I shall make him forgive me,” she said, and her lips turned up higher in a wonderful fake smile. “Besides, he won’t find out, will he?” And she turned to Deborah. “This will be our little secret, all right?” she said.”
“All right,” I said. “What are you and Deke doing?” She looked at me with a repeat of the bad-lemon glare she’d given Deke. “We,” she said with a distaste that matched her expression, “are going to hit the last three names on the list from that dentist. The guys who had the vampire fangs put in.” She glanced again at Deke and then away, clamping her jaw tight. “Somebody knows,” she said. “Goddamn it, one of those boys knows something, and we’re going to get it from him.” “All right,” Deke said softly.”
“She ground her teeth and squeezed her hands together some more for a few seconds, and she seemed to think about jumping out the window. But it was only the second floor, and the windows were sealed shut, so finally Debs turned away and slumped back into her chair. “All right,” she said through clenched teeth. “Let’s do it.” There”
“There are only a very few cop clichés that are necessary for saying almost anything to the press. That is one reason, of course, that a talking suit like Captain Matthews could become good enough at it to rise up to his lofty rank based solely on his ability to memorize them all and then put them in the right order when standing in front of a camera. It was really not even a skill, since it took a great deal less ability than the simplest card trick. Still, it was a talent Deborah did not have, not even a little, and trying to explain it to her was like describing plaid to a blind person. Altogether it was a nasty and unpleasant interlude, and by the time we headed down to the press conference I was nearly as sweaty and frazzled as my sister. Neither of us felt any better when we saw the standing-room-only crowd of salivating predators waiting for us. For a moment Deborah froze in place, one foot raised in the air. But then, as if somebody had flipped a switch, the reporters turned on her and began their routine of shouting questions and taking pictures, and as I saw Deborah clamp her jaw and frown, I took a deep breath. She’s going to be all right, I thought, and I watched her climb to the podium with something like pride in my creation. Of”
“Deborah trying to make a statement at a press conference was torture so intensely painful that I am quite sure that the men in black hoods who worked for the Inquisition would have shuddered and refused to participate.”
“Deborah snapped me out of my pathetic fugue by slapping her hands on the steering wheel. “Goddamn it,” she said. “I just don’t fucking trust her.” I”
“And then, alas, the reporters smelled blood in the water and leaped on Deborah with a savage frenzy. All that had come before was cupcakes and kitties by comparison, and I watched as Deborah slowly and carefully tied the rope around her own neck and hoisted herself into the air, where she twisted in the wind with agonizing completeness until finally, mercifully, Captain Matthews had suffered enough and stepped forward to say, “No more questions.” He did not quite shove Deborah off the podium, but it was clear that he had to think about it. The”
“By noon, we had run almost every test we could do in our own small lab, and found one or two useless things. First, the basic broth was made from one of the commercially popular high-octane energy drinks. Human blood had been added in and, although it was difficult to be absolutely certain using the small and badly degraded sample, I was reasonably sure it had come from several sources. But the last ingredient, the organic something, remained elusive. “Okay,” I said at last. “Let’s go at this a different way.” “What,” Vince said, “with a Ouija board?” “Almost,” I said. “How about we try inductive logic?” “Okay, Sherlock,” he said. “More fun than gas chromatography any day.” “Eating your fellow humans is not natural,” I said, trying to put myself into the mind of someone at the party, but Vince interrupted my slow-forming trance. “What,” he said, “are you kidding? Didn’t you read any history at all? Cannibalism is the most natural thing in the world.” “Not in twenty-first-century Miami,” I said. “No matter what they say in the Enquirer.” “Still,” he said, “it’s just a cultural thing.” “Exactly,” I said. “We have a huge cultural taboo against it that you would have to overcome somehow.” “Well, you got ’em drinking blood, so the next step isn’t that big.”
“What a lovely family you have, brother,” he said. “Domestic perfection.” “I still don’t know why you’re here,” I said. “Don’t you?” Brian said. “Wasn’t I obvious?” “Painfully obvious,” I said. “But not at all clear.”
“Yes, religion was a many-splendored thing; surely it should be part of life and not used to separate people. Couldn’t people from different religions love one another? Oh, dearest Father, she thought, is religion worth sacrificing your daughter? Is it worth rejecting your son-in-law, just because he prays in a synagogue?”
“Imagination is ever changing and never static.”
“From an evolutionary perspective, nothing could be worse for a male than to eliminate his own progeny. It’s assumed, therefore, that nature has provided males with a rule of thumb to attack only infants of mothers with whom they have had no recent sex. This may seem foolproof for the males, but it opens the door for a brilliant female counterstrategy. By accepting the advances of many males, a female can buffer herself against infanticide because none of her mates can discard the possibility that her infant is his. In other words, it pays to sleep around.”
“Cortisol works more systemically than adrenaline does. It triggers the liver to make more glucose available in the bloodstream while it also blocks insulin receptors in nonessential organs and tissues so that you get all the glucose (fuel) that you need to deal with the threat. Cortisol’s work is a long-term strategy of insulin resistance, which serves to provide the brain with a sustained level of glucose. However, you don’t always have a lot of glucose floating around, so cortisol works to stockpile energy. It converts protein into glycogen and begins to store fat. If the stress is chronic, the increased body fat is stored in the abdomen. If you have a growing bulge in your midsection, it may be due to cortisol working to store energy. Unfortunately, that’s not the way you want it to be stored. It’s better to burn off such stored energy by exercise.”
“What are you lying about now, devil,” she rasped, coughing when the blood filled up her throat again. Dark fury flashed in his eyes and iron fingers dug into her jaw. She screamed and writhed, fighting to escape the point of metal filling her vision. She screamed as he pressed it into her eye, drilling through her eyeball. She clenched her fists and jolted under the straps, her body going into spams of agony. “How”
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