“Flawed, imperfect creatures! That's what we both are, oga! That's what we ALL are!”
“To be something abnormal meant that you were to serve the normal. And if you refused, they hated you... and often the normal hated you even when you did serve them.”
“You know how the story ends. He escaped and went on to become the greatest chief Suntown ever had. He never built a shrine or a temple or even a shack in the name of Tia. In the Great Book, her name is never mentioned again. He never mused about her or even asked where she was buried. Tia was a virgin. She was beautiful. She was poor. And she was a girl. It was her duty to sacrifice her life for his.”
“I was young but I hated like a middle-aged man at the end of his prime.”
“the girl who was so lovely even her father couldn’t resist her.”
“I think juju was worked on us at our Eleventh Rite. It’s . . . probably broken with marriage.” I looked hard at Luyu. “I think if you force intercourse, you’ll die.” “It is broken with marriage,” Diti said nodding. “My cousin always talks about how only a pure woman attracts a man pure enough to bring pleasure to the marriage bed. She says her husband is the purest man around . . . probably because he was the first who didn’t bring her pain.” “Ugh,” Luyu said, angrily. “We’re tricked into thinking our husbands are gods.”
“Then I noticed it. Red and oval-shaped with a white oval in the center, like the giant eye of a jinni. It sizzled and hissed, the white part expanding, moving closer. It horrified me to my very core. Must get out of here! I thought. Now! It sees me! But I didn’t know how to move. Move with what? I had no body. The red was bitter venom. The white was like the sun’s worst heat. I started screaming and crying again. Then I was opening my eyes to a cup of water. Everyone’s face broke into a smile. “Oh, praise Ani,” the Ada said. I felt the pain and jumped, about to get up and run. I had to run. From that eye. I was so mixed up that for a moment, I was sure that what I’d just seen was causing the pain. “Don’t”
“My mother once said that fear is like a man who, once burned, is afraid of a glow worm”
“A tool always begs to be used. The trick is to learn how to use it.”
“The Nuru men, and their women, had done what they did for more than torture and shame. They wanted to create Ewu children. Such children are not the children of forbidden love between a Nuru and an Okeke, nor are they Noahs, Okekes born without color. The Ewu are children of violence.
An Okeke woman will never kill a child kindled inside of her. She would go against even her husband to keep a child in her womb alive. However, custom dictates that the child is the child of her father. These Nuru had planted poison. An Okeke woman who gave birth to an Ewu child was bound to the Nuru through her child.”
“They had to work at it, but they found their common ground. Ultimately, though, their differences returned, and she wondered how deeply they ran. How could she continue to overlook them, when they loomed so large? Jessica”
“It was like a dream, a beautiful, soothing dream of late autumn: low, gray skies, smell of woodsmoke, fallen leaves crackling beneath my feet, and somewhere out there, in the farmsteads and plantations ahead of me, swift retribution! Freedom! The bloody work of the Lord!”
In my house.
One day you’ll be blind, like me. You’ll be sitting there, a speck in the void, in the dark, for ever, like me.
One day you’ll say to yourself, I’m tired, I’ll sit down, and you’ll go and sit down. Then you’ll say, I’m hungry, I’ll get up and get something to eat. But you won’t get up. You’ll say, I shouldn’t have sat down, but since I have I’ll sit on a little longer, then I’ll get up and get something to eat. But you won’t get up and you won’t get anything to eat.
You’ll look at the wall a while, then you’ll say, I’ll close my eyes, perhaps have a little sleep, after that I’ll feel better, and you’ll close them. And when you open them again there’ll be no wall any more.
Infinite emptiness will be all around you, all the resurrected dead of all the ages wouldn’t fill it, and there you’ll be like a little bit of grit in the middle of the steppe.
Yes, one day you’ll know what it is, you’ll be like me, except that you won’t have anyone with you, because you won’t have had pity on anyone and because there won’t be anyone left to have pity on.
“Keth, power brings with it the need to make moral judgments; history proves that. You have no choice but to make those decisions.”
“And so we gain hope—not from the darkness of our suffering, not from pat answers in books, but from the God who sees our suffering and shares our pain.”
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