“I'm a lost soul. We do wail.”
“I wonder as to the value of consciousness,” said Jack, “if it does not change the nature of a beast.”
“But that is the way it is with all oracles, Jack. When that which is foreseen comes to pass, the inquirer is no longer the same person he was when he posed the question. It is impossible to make a man understand what he will become with the passage of time; and it is only a future self to whom a prophecy is truly relevant.”
“As he was cast over the edge, he was able to turn and look upward. Falling, he saw a dark figure in the sky that grew even as his eyes passed over it. Of course, he thought, he has finally looked upon the sunrise and been freed … Wings folded, his great, horned countenance impassive, Morningstar dropped like a black meteor. As he drew near, he extended his arms full length and opened his massive hands. Jack wondered whether he would arrive in time.”
“Пощадата, както имах възможност да науча от личен опит, е точно онова, което ти отказват, когато най-много се нуждаеш от него. Ала когато ти самият държиш козовете, същите тези хора вдигат шум до небето за да я получат.”
“Soul,” said Jack, turning toward it again, “you’ve been listening. Do you have any suggestions?” “I have only one desire.” “What is that?” “To be united with you. To go through life with you, comforting and cautioning, and—” “Wait a moment,” said Jack, raising his hand. “What does it require for you to be united with me?” “Your consent.” Jack smiled. He lit a cigarette, his hands trembling slightly. “What if I were to withhold my consent?” he asked. “Then I would become a wanderer. I would follow you at a distance, unable to comfort you and caution you, unable—” “Great,” said Jack. “I withhold my consent. Get out of here.” “Are you joking? That’s a hell of a way to treat a soul. Here I am, waiting to comfort and caution you, and you kick me out. What will people say? ‘There goes Jack’s soul,’ they’ll say, ‘poor thing.”
“Unlike the other darkside Lords, whose places of power were fixed geographical localities where they reigned supreme, Jack’s was more a tenuous one, and liable to speedy cancellation, but it existed wherever light and objects met to make a lesser darkness. With”
“A prisoner of he who has already slain you once, he thought. No doubt near to his place of power, in a cage built just for me. Bad. Bad. There”
“I hated Alfred. He was a miserable, pious, tight-fisted king who distrusted me because I was no Christian, because I was a northerner, and because I had given him his kingdom back at Ethandun. And as reward he had given me Fifhaden. Bastard.”
“They had been corrupted by money, and he had been corrupted by sentiment. Sentiment was the more dangerous, because you couldn’t name its price. A man open to bribes was to be relied upon below a certain figure, but sentiment might uncoil in the heart at a name, a photograph, even a smell remembered.”
“Oh, but he allooowed it. Like he gave me some precious permission slip to ride his cock.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, Jenna. Everyone has regrets and guilt for things they should have done differently in their lives. Shit happens, and we do the best we can at the time. You can't blame yourself forever.”
“I watched a swatch of the sky turn red. The red spread like blood in the sea: red, red, red, and then less and less red, until there was only blue left. I squinted as the sun rose. I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up, my father was carrying me into the house. Sam walked beside us carrying the lawn chair, which seemed almost as big as he was. Inside the living room my father laid me on my cot. “She’s gone,” he said.”
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