“If you are not trying to hold on to time, you are not so afraid of losing it.”
“Courage only counts when you can count.”
“His dad said even the cavemen had geniuses among them. Somebody had thought up the wheel.”
“You see, I tired of constant fear, so I made a decision. Every day when I wake I tell myself that it will be my last. If you are not trying to hold on to time, you are not so afraid of losing it.”
“Beware, Underlanders, time hangs by a thread.
The hunters are hunted, white water runs red.
The Gnawers will strike to extinguish the rest.
The hope of the hopeless resides in a quest.
An Overland warrior, a son of the sun,
May bring us back light, he may bring us back none.
But gather your neighbors and follow his call
Or rats will most surely devour us all.
Two over, two under, of royal descent,
Two flyers, two crawlers, two spinners assent.
One gnawer beside and one lost up ahead.
And eight will be left when we count up the dead.
The last who will die must decide where he stands.
The fate of the eight is contained in his hands.
So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps,
As life may be death and death life again reaps.”
“For the last year his grandma had been slipping in and out of reality. One minute she was as clear as a bell and the next she was calling him Simon. Who was Simon? He had no idea.”
“I guess after tonight Boots won't think the whole world is her friend," thought Gregor. She had to find out sometime, but it still made him sad.”
“Even if times got bad, he would never again deny himself the possibility that the future might be happy even if the present was painful. He would allow himself dreams.”
“And then there was Tick. Brave little Tick, who had flown into the faces of an army of rats to save his baby sister. Tick - who never spoke much. Tick - who shared her food. Tick - who was after all just a roach. Just a roach who had given all the time she had left so that Boots could have more.
Gregor pressed Boots's fingers against his lips and felt scalding tears begin to slide down his cheeks. He hadn't cried, not the whole time he'd been down here, and there had been plenty of bad stuff. But somehow Tick's sacrifice had crushed whatever thin shell remained between him and sorrow.”
“And then, if you make it to bedtime, you feel the joy of cheating death out of one more day," she said. "Do you see?”
“Yes, I’m a mouse. Squeak, squeak. Now shoo-shoo back to your little bug friends,” said Rirped, picking up a hunk of dried beef. He tore a off a piece with his teeth and noticed Boots hadn’t moved. He pulled back his lips to reveal a row of jagged teeth and gave her a sharp hiss.”
“He felt around desperately for a weapon. What did he have? Diapers? Cookies? Oh, why hadn't they given him a sword? He was the stupid warrior, wasn't he? His fingers dug in the leather bag and closed around the root beer can. Root beer! He yanked out the can shaking it with all his might. "Attack! Attack!" he yelled.”
“A light was on in the kitchen. His mother sat at the kitchen table, as still as a statue. Her hands were clasped together, and she stared fixatedly at a small stain on the tablecloth. Gregor remembered seeing her that way so many nights after his dad had disappeared. He didn't know what to say. He didn't want to scare her or shock her or ever give her any more pain.
So, he stepped into the light of the kitchen and said the one thing he knew she wanted to hear most in the world.
"Hey, Mom. We're home.”
“Fly you high, Gregor the Overlander. Fly you high!”
“The rat turned his glowing eyes on him, and Gregor was shocked by what he saw there. The intelligence, the deadliness, and, most surprisingly, the pain. This rat was not like Fangor and Shed. He was much more complicated and much more dangerous. For the first time in the Underland, Gregor felt completely out of his league. If he fought this rat, he wouldn't stand a change. He would lose. He would be dead.”
“In one horrible moment the last piece of the prophecy became clear.
So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps,
As life may be death and death life again reaps.
He had to leap, and by his death, the others would live. That was it. That was what Sandwich had been trying to say all along, and by now he believed in Sandwich.
He put on a final burst of speed, just like the coach taught him in track. He gave everything he had. In the last few steps before the canyon he felt a sharp pain in the back of his leg, and then the ground gave way under his feet.
Gregor the Overlander leaped.”
“As miserable as Gregor felt about being dumped with a rat, his heart ached for Vikus. He wanted to scream at Luxa, "Say something! Don't let your granpa fly off like this! Four of us aren't coming back!" But the words caught in his throat. Part of him wasn't ready to forgive Vikus for abandoning them, either.
"Fly you high, Gregor the Overlander," said Vikus.
Gregor struggled with how to respond. Should he ignore Vikus? Let him know that none of them, not even an Overlander, could forgive him? Just as he had steeled himself against replying, Gregor thought of the last two years, seven months, and was it fifteen days now? There were so many things he wished he'd said to his dad when he'd had the chance. Things like how special it was when they went on the roof at night and tried to find the stars. Or how much he loved it when they took the subway out to the stadium to watch a baseball game. Or just that he felt lucky that out of all the people in the world, his dad was his dad.
He didn't have room inside him for any more unspoken words. The bats were rising into the air. He only had a second. "Fly you high, Vikus!" he yelled. "Fly you high!"
Vikus turned back, and Gregor could see tears shining on his cheeks. He lifted up a hand to Gregor in thanks.
And then they were gone.”
“There was no discussion between them; it was as if the bugs had worked out this whole scenario long ago. Temp put on a burst of speed for the end of the bridge, and Tick turned to face down the army of rats alone.”
“Vikus looked at Luxa and opened his arms. She stood, still frozen, staring at him as if he were a complete stranger.
"Luxa, it's your grandpa," said Gregor. It seemed like the best and most important thing to say at the moment. "It's your grandpa."
Luxa blinked. A tiny tear formed at the corner of her eye. A battle took place on her face as she tried to stop the feelings rising up inside her.
The feelings won, and to Gregor's great relief, she ran into Vikus's arms.”
“What say you, Luxa?" said Vikus.
"What can I say, Vikus? Can I return to our people and tell them I withdrew from the quest when our survival hangs in the balance?" said Luxa bitterly.
"Of course you cannot, Luxa. This is why he times it so," said Henry.
"You could choose to - " started Vikus.
"I could choose! I could choose!" retorted Luxa. " Do not offer me a choice when you know none exits!" She and Henry turned their backs on Vikus.”
“A faint light burned in the pit revealing a furry creature hunched over a stone slab, fiddling with something. At first Gregor raised a warning hand. He thought it was a rat.
Then the creature lifted his head and Gregor recognized what was left of his dad.”
“You asked why the rate hate Overlanders so deeply. It is because they know one will be the warrior of the prophecy," said Vikus.
"Oh, I see," said Gregor. "So, when's he coming?"
Vikus fixed his eyes on Gregor. "I believe he is already here.”
“I have not wept since the death of my parents," said Luxa quietly. "But I am thought to be unnatural in this respect.”
“Hope,” said Vikus. “There are times it will be very hard to find. Times when it will be much easier to choose hate instead. But if you want to find peace, you must first be able to hope it is possible.”
“It was building up in his chest, that long guttural howl reserved for real emergencies — like when you ran into a saber-toothed tiger without your club, or your fire went out during the Ice Age.”
“The place did kind of resemble a locker room if locker rooms were gorgeous and smelled good.”
“Even when people think you’re wrong, you keep trying.”
“BEWARE, UNDERLANDERS, TIME HANGS BY A THREAD. THE HUNTERS ARE HUNTED, WHITE WATER RUNS RED. THE GNAWERS WILL STRIKE TO EXTINGUISH THE REST. THE HOPE OF THE HOPELESS RESIDES IN A QUEST. AN OVERLAND WARRIOR, A SON OF THE SUN, MAY BRING US BACK LIGHT, HE MAY BRING US BACK NONE. BUT GATHER YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FOLLOW HIS CALL OR RATS WILL MOST SURELY DEVOUR US ALL. TWO OVER, TWO UNDER, OF ROYAL DESCENT, TWO FLYERS, TWO CRAWLERS, TWO SPINNERS ASSENT. ONE GNAWER BESIDE AND ONE LOST UP AHEAD. AND EIGHT WILL BE LEFT WHEN WE COUNT UP THE DEAD. THE LAST WHO WILL DIE MUST DECIDE WHERE HE STANDS. THE FATE OF THE EIGHT IS CONTAINED IN HIS HANDS. SO BID HIM TAKE CARE, BID HIM LOOK WHERE HE LEAPS, AS LIFE MAY BE DEATH AND DEATH LIFE AGAIN REAPS.”
“ليس هناك اجمل واقوى من ان يتقرب انسان من انسان اخر مهما يكن من امره”
“Carpe Scrotum. Seize life by the testicles”
“A number of visitors called this morning,' Finchley announced with some pride. He took a tray from a waiting footman and displayed it as if it were a baby. Sure enough there was a little heap of cardboard bits, embossed with the names of nobility, acquaintances, friends and the purely curious.”
“Nevins explained that the traits of a decentralized society-flexibility, shared power, ambiguity-made the Apaches immune to attacks that would have destroyed a centralized society.”
“This is, I believe, it: not the crude anguish of physical death but the incomparable pangs of the mysterious mental maneuver needed to pass from one state of being to another.”
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