“People have far more power than they realize, if they would only choose to use it.”
“Chili dogs, funnel cakes, fried bread, majorly greasy pizza, candy apples, ye gods. Evil food smells amazing -- which is either proof that there is a Satan or some equivalent out there, or that the Almighty doesn't actually want everyone to eat organic tofu all the time. I can't decide.”
“I felt like I had just double-tapped Santa.”
“I grunted. It's something I picked up over a fifteen-year career in law enforcement. Men have managed to create a complex and utterly impenetrable secret language consisting of monosyllabic sounds and partial words—and they are apparently too thick to realize it exists. Maybe they really are from Mars. I'd been able to learn a few Martian phrases over time, and one of the useful ones was the grunt that meant "I acknowledge that I've heard what you said; please continue.”
“Whenever it gets too dark, think of the good things you have, the good times you've had. It will help. I promise.”
“It doesn't make you a monster to want, she said, her voice very gentle. It's what you do with it that matters.”
“There was a click of high heels in the hall behind us, and a young woman appeared. She was pretty enough, I suspected, but in the tight black dress, black hose, and with her hair slicked back like that, it was sort of threatening. She gave me a slow, cold look and said, "So. I see that you’re keeping low company after all, Ravenius."
Ever suave, I replied, "Uh. What?"
"’Ah-ree," Thomas said.
I glanced at him.
He put his hand flat on the top of his head and said, "Do this."
I peered at him.
He gave me a look.
I sighed and put my hand on the top of my head.
The girl in the black dress promptly did the same thing and gave me a smile. "Oh, right, sorry. I didn’t realize."
"I will be back in one moment," Thomas said, his accent back. "Personal business."
"Right," she said, "sorry. I figured Ennui had stumbled onto a subplot." She smiled again, then took her hand off the top of her head, reassumed that cold, haughty expression, and stalked clickety-clack back to the bistro.
I watched her go, turned to my brother while we both stood there with our hands flat on top of our heads, elbows sticking out like chicken wings, and said, "What does this mean?"
"We’re out of character," Thomas said.
"Oh," I said. "And not a subplot."
"If we had our hands crossed over our chests," Thomas said, "we’d be invisible."
"I missed dinner," I said. I put my other hand on my stomach. Then, just to prove that I could, I patted my head and rubbed my stomach. "Now I’m out of character—and hungry.”
“Dresden’s not gone,” I said. I touched a hand lightly to my brow. “He’s here.” I touched Will’s bare chest, on the left side. “Here. Without him, without what he’s done over the years, you and I would never have been able to pull this off.”
“No,” he agreed. “Probably not. Definitely not.”
“There are a lot of people he’s taught. Trained. Defended. And he’s been an example. No single one of us can ever be what he was. But together, maybe we can.”
“For some reason, she didn't want to take the motorcycle, so that left my car, the ever trusty (almost always) Blue Beetle, in old-school VW Bug that had seen me through one nasty scrape after another. More than once, it had been pounded badly, but always it had risen to do battle once more – if by battle one means driving somewhere at a sedate speed, without much acceleration and only middling gas mileage.”
“Against anything human, more than one round to the head would be overkill: When the merely mortal goes up against the supernatural, there's no such thing as overkill”
“Mister didn't come with me on cases, being above such trivial matters, but he found me pleasant company when I was at home and not moving around too much, except when he didn't, in which case he went rambling”
“I snorted. “They still make you read Dickens in school? Great Expectations?” “Yeah.” “You can stay at home and hide if you want—and wind up like Miss Havisham,” I said. “Watching life through a window and obsessed with how things might have been.” “Dear God,” she said. “You’ve just made Dickens relevant to my life.” “Weird, right?” I asked her, nodding.”
“God isn't about making good things happen to you,or bad things happen to you. He's all about making choice - exercising the gift of free will.”
“Once you begin to mass-manufacture anything, by the very nature of the process, you lose the sense of personal attachment you might have to something made by hand.”
“Oh,” I said. I rubbed at my jaw. “You think I should have gone four-color?”
Bob stared at me for a second and said, “I have nightmares about Hell, where all I do is add up numbers and try to have conversations with people like you.”
I glowered up at the skull and nodded. “Okay, fine. You think it needs more drama.”
“More anything. Drama would do. Or breasts.”
I sighed and saw where that line of thought was going. “I am not going to hire a leggy secretary, Bob. Get over it.”
“I didn’t say anything about legs. But as long as we’re on the subject . . .”
“Does it hurt to be as suave as you, boss?” “It’s agonizing.” “Looks it.”
“Evil food smells amazing—which is either proof that there is a Satan or some equivalent out there, or that the Almighty doesn’t actually want everyone to eat organic tofu all the time. I can’t decide.”
“If you’re right, they aren’t the deceased,” Murphy said. “They’re the victims. Big difference. Which is it?” “Wish I could say,” I said. “But the only evidence that could prove it one way or another is leaking out onto the floor. If we get a survivor, maybe I could take a peek and see, but barring that, we’re stuck with legwork.” Murphy sighed and looked down. “Two suicide pacts could—technically—be a coincidence. Three of them, no way it’s natural. This feels more like something’s MO. Could it be another one of those Skavis vampires?” “They gun for loners,” I said, shaking my head. “These”
“Ma’am, the way this usually works is that I ask you a question, and then you tell me a lie. If you give me a dishonest answer before I have the chance to ask the question, it offends my sense of propriety.” Her”
“One more tip, kids. If you had any real talent, the air would practically have been on fire when you got ready to throw down. But you losers don’t have enough magic between you to turn cereal into breakfast.”
“She held up her hand, palm up—another one of those gestures, their meanings forgotten by everyone except for long-term wackjobs like Dresden.”
“It’s what you do with the want that matters.”
“MURPHY’S SATURN HAD gotten a little blown up a couple of years back,”
“It’s another in a long list of things that Martians hardly ever think about: Almost any woman knows that almost any man is stronger than she is. Oh, men know they’re stronger, but they seldom actually stop to think through the implications of that simple reality—implications that are both unnerving and virtually omnipresent, if you aren’t a Martian. You think about life differently when you know that half the people you see have the physical power to do things to you, regardless of whether you intend to allow it—and even implied threats of physical violence have to be taken seriously.”
“For the first time ever, Mickey Mouse let me down.”
“I let out a battle cry. Sure, a lot of people might have mistaken it for a sudden yelp of unmanly fear, but trust me: It was a battle cry.”
“I jerked instinctively. I couldn't stay here. I couldn't die in this closet.
"No one is going to touch you," Chase murmured into my hair.”
“now that the very name "space" seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam. He could not call it 'dead'; he felt life pouring in at every moment.”
“You can tell yourself that you would be willing to lose everything you have in order to get something you want. But it's a catch-22: all of those things you're willing to lose are what make you recognizable. Lose them, and you've lost yourself.”
“Even if I had stayed she wouldn't have ever wanted me. She didn't want me for anything more than a summer fling. I was a way of moving on for her.”
“What has become clear is that lies are just a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Lying to spare a person's feelings, even when the truth would help them to improve, damages them in the long run.”
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