I sprang toward him with the stake, hoping to catch him by surprise. But Dimitri was hard to catch by surprise. And he was fast. Oh, so fast. It was like he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He halted my attack with a glancing blow to the side of my head. I knew it would hurt later, but my adrenaline was running too strong for me to pay attention to it now.Distantly, I realized some other people had come to watch us. Dimitri and I were celebrities in different ways around here and our mentoring relationship added to the drama. This was prime-time entertainment.My eyes were only on Dimitri, though. As we tested each other, attacking and blocking, I tried to remember everything he'd taught me. I also tried to remember everything I knew about him. I'd practiced with him for months. I knew him, knew his moves, just as he knew mine. I could anticipate him the same way. Once I started using that knowledge, the fight grew tricky. We were too well matched, both of us too fast. My heart thumped in my chest and sweat coated my skin.Then Dimitri finally got through. He moved in for an attack, coming at me with the full force of his body. I blocked the worst of it, but he was so strong that I was the one who stumbled from the impact. He didn't waste the opportunity and dragged me to the ground, trying to pin me. Being trapped like that by a Strigoi would likely result in the neck being bitten or broken. I couldn't let that happen.So, although he held most of me to the ground, I managed to shove my elbow up and nail him in the face. He flinched and that was all I needed. I rolled him over and held him down. He fought to push me off and I pushed right back while also trying to maneuver my stake. He was so strong, though. I was certain I wouldn't be able to hold him. Then, just as I thought I'd lose my hold, I got a good grip on the stake. And like that, the stake came down over his heart. It was done.Behind me, people were clapping but all I noticed was Dimitri. Our gazes were locked. I was still straddling him, my hands pressed against his chest. Both of us were sweaty and breathing heavily. His eyes looked at me with pride—and hell of a lot more. He was so close and my body yearned for him, again thinking he was a piece of me I needed in order to be complete. The air between us seemed warm and heady and I would have given anything in that moment to lie down with him and have his arms wrap around me. His expression showed that he was thinking the same thing. The fight was finished, but remnants of the adrenaline and animal intensity remained.
Richelle Mead
Why doesn't the pope convert to Calvinism? Why doesn't the Dalai Lama, convert to Christianity, why doesn't Billy Graham convert to Islam, Why doesn't the Ayatollahs convert to Buddhism, Why isn't Buddhism swept away? Religious leaders know that all religions are equal; they know that no one of them has the monopoly to the knowledge of God. They know that each religion is trying to find the hidden God and that no one religion can claim to have found him beyond doubt. That's why they remain where they are and respect each other.
Bangambiki Habyarimana
afterlifeagnosticagnostic-atheismagnostic-prayeragnostic-quoteagnostic-quotesagnosticismagnosticsatheismatheism-definedatheism-quotesatheistatheist-argumentatheist-argumentsatheist-claimsatheist-clubatheist-philosophersatheist-quotesatheisticatheistic-philosophyatheistic-religionatheistsbangambikibeliefbelief-in-godbelief-quotesbelief-systembeliefs-quotesbelieverbelievingbudhism-quoteschristianitydalai-lamadebatedespair-and-attitudedespair-hopedespair-quotesdespairingdoubtdoubtersdoubtfuldoubtful-thoughtsdoubtfulnessdoubtingdoubting-minddoubtsdoubts-quotesethicsexistenceexistentialismfaithfaith-in-godfaith-in-yourselffaith-quotesfaith-reasonfaith-vs-reasonfaithfulfaithfulnessfalse-godfalse-godsfear-of-godgodgoddessgodshabyarimana-bangambikiheavenheaven-and-hellheaven-on-earthheaven-quotesheavenlyheavenly-fatherheavenly-rewardsheavenshonestyhonesty-friendship-truthhonesty-from-withinhonesty-integrityhonesty-integrity-relationshiphonesty-integrity-wordshonesty-quoteshopehope-and-despairhope-for-each-dayhope-quoteshopefulhopeful-and-encouraginghopeful-quoteshopelesshopelessnesshopeshopingintegrityintegrity-of-a-salesmanintegrity-quotesislamislam-quotesmbudhismlifelose-hopematerialismmeaning-of-lifemoralitynaturalismparadiseparadise-quotesparadisespopepope-quotesreligionreligion-and-philoshophyreligion-spiritualityreligion-vs-sciencereligiousreligious-faithrespectsecular-ethicsself-respectsincerityspiritualityspirituality-quotesspirituality-vs-religionsupernaturalismthe-great-pearl-of-wisdomthere-is-no-godunbeliefunbelieve-quotesunbelieverunbelievers
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland.For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city.When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. I really can't believe it, Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left.In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.
Joseph Heller