Dear friend…'The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on Dear friend. Now he had his just deserts.'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it.I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list?Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend.Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure.Your friend Yennefer'The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries.Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski
Most people are afflicted with an inability to say what they see or think. They say there’s nothing more difficult than to define a spiral in words; they claim it is necessary to use the unliterary hand, twirling it in a steadily upward direction, so that human eyes will perceive the abstract figure immanent in wire spring and a certain type of staircase. But if we remember that to say is to renew, we will have no trouble defining a spiral; it’s a circle that rises without ever closing. I realize that most people would never dare to define it this way, for they suppose that defining is to say what others want us to say rather than what’s required for the definition. I’ll say it more accurately: a spiral is a potential circle that winds round as it rises, without ever completing itself. But no, the definition is still abstract. I’ll resort to the concrete and all will become clear: a spiral is a snake without a snake, vertically wound around nothing. All literature is an attempt to make life real. All of us know, even when we act on what we don’t know, life is absolutely unreal in its directly real form; the country, the city and our ideas are absolutely fictitious things, the offspring of our complex sensation of our own selves. Impressions are incommunicable unless we make them literary. Children are particularly literary, for they say what they feel not what someone has taught them to feel. Once I heard a child, who wished to say that he was on the verge of tears, say not ‘I feel like crying’, which is what an adult, i.e., an idiot, would say but rather, ’ I feel like tears.’ And this phrase -so literary it would seem affected in a well-known poet, if he could ever invent it - decisively refers to the warm presence of tears about to burst from eyelids that feel the liquid bitterness. ‘I feel like tears’! The small child aptly defined his spiral. To say! To know how to say! To know how to exist via the written voice and the intellectual image! This is all that matters in life; the rest is men and women, imagined loves and factitious vanities, the wiles of our digestion and forgetfulness, people squirming- like worms when a rock is lifted - under the huge abstract boulder of the meaningless blue sky.
Fernando Pessoa
Before he could say my name, I closed the space between us. Quickly, my lips moved against his. The mental and emotional emptiness took over instantly, but physically, I was more alert than ever. Wesley’s surprise didn’t last as long as it had before and his hands were on me in seconds. My fingers tangled in his soft hair and Wesley’s tongue darted into my mouth and became a new weapon in our war.Once again, my body took complete control of everything. Nothing existed at the corners of my mind; no irritating thoughts harassed me. Even the sounds of Wesley’s stereo, which had been playing some piano rock I didn’t recognize, faded away as my sense of touch heightened.I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. Please don’t slap me again, he said.Shut up.I could have stopped there. I could have stood up and left the room. I could have let that kiss be the end of it. But I didn’t. The mind-numbing sensation I got from kissing him was so euphoric-such a high-that I couldn’t stand to give it up that fast. I might have hated Wesley Rush, but he held the key to my escape and at that moment I wanted him… I needed him.Without speaking, without hesitating, I pulled my T-shirt over my head and threw it onto Wesley’s bedroom floor. He didn’t have a chance to say anything before I put my hands on his shoulders and shoved him onto his back. A second later, I was straddling him and we were kissing again. His fingers undid the clasp on my bra and it joined my shirt on the floor.I didn’t care. I didn’t feel self-conscious or shy. I mean, he already knew I was the Duff and it wasn’t like I had to impress him.I unbuttoned his shirt as he pulled the alligator clip from my hair and let the auburn waves fall around us. Casey had been right. Wesley had a great body. The skin pulled tight over his sculpted chest and my hands drifted down his muscular arms with amazement.His lips moved to my neck, giving me a moment to breathe. I could only smell his cologne this close to him. As his mouth traveled down my shoulder, a thought pushed through the exhilaration. I wondered why he hadn’t shoved me-Duffy-away in disgust.Then again, I realized, Wesley wasn’t known for rejecting girls. And I was the one who should have been disgusted.But his mouth pressed into mine again and that tiny, fleeting thought died. Acting on instinct, I pulled on Wesley’s lower lip with my teeth and he moaned quietly. His hands moved over my ribs, sending chills up my spine. Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss.Only once, as Wesley flipped me onto my back, did I seriously consider stopping. He looked down at me and his skilled hand grasped the zipper on my jeans. My dormant brain stirred and I asked myself if things had gone too far. I thought about pushing him away, ending it right where we were. But why would I stop now? What did I stand to lose? Yet what could I possibly gain? How would I feel about this in an hour… or sooner?Before I could come up with any answers, Wesley had my jeans and underwear off. He pulled a condom from his pocket (okay, now that I’m thinking about it, who keeps condoms in their pockets? Wallet, yes, but pocket? Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?) and then his pants were on the floor, too. All of a sudden, we were having sex and my thoughts were muted again.
Kody Keplinger
The first time Christina and Lachlan Meet ...Christina wasn't about to stop fighting—not until she took her last breath. Boring down with her heels, she thrashed. Get off me, ye brute. She would hold her son in her arms this day if it was the last thing she did. And by the shift of the crushing weight on her chest, she only had moments before her life's breath completely whooshed from her lungs. The very thought of dying whilst her son was still held captive infused her with strength. With a jab, she slammed the heel of her hand across the man's chin. He flew from her body like a sack of grain. Praises be, had the Lord granted her with superhuman strength? Blinking, Christina sat up. No, no. Her strike hadn't rescued her from the pillager. A champion had. A behemoth of a man pummeled the pikeman's face with his fists. Never. Ever. His fists moved so fast they blurred. Harm. A. Woman! Bloodied and battered, the varlet dropped to the dirt. A swordsman attacked her savior from behind. Watch out, she cried, but before the words left her lips the warrior spun to his feet. Flinging his arm backward, he grabbed his assailant's wrist, stopped the sword midair and flipped the cur onto his back. Onward, he fought a rush of English attackers with his bare hands, without armor. Not even William Wallace himself had been so talented. This warrior moved like a cat, anticipating his opponent's moves before they happened. Five enemy soldiers lay on their backs. Quickly, the man shouted, running toward her, his feet bare. No sooner had she rolled to her knees than his powerful arms clamped around her. The wind whipped beneath her feet. He planted her bum in the saddle. Behind! Christina screamed, every muscle in her body clenching taut. Throwing back an elbow, the man smacked an enemy soldier in the face resulting in a sickening crack. She picked up her reins and dug in her heels. Whoa! The big man latched onto the skirt of her saddle and hopped behind her, making her pony's rear end dip. But the frightened galloway didn't need coaxing. He galloped away from the fight like a deer running from a fox. Christina peered around her shoulder at the mass of fighting men behind them. My son! Do you see him? the man asked in the strangest accent she'd ever heard. She tried to turn back, but the man's steely chest stopped her. They took him. Who? The English, of course. The more they talked, the further from the border the galloway took them. Huh? the man mumbled behind her like he'd been struck in the head by a hammer. Everyone for miles knew the Scots and the English were to exchange a prisoner that day. The champion's big palm slipped around her waist and held on—it didn't hurt like he was digging in his fingers, but he pressed firm against her. The sensation of such a powerful hand on her body was unnerving. It had been eons since any man had touched her, at least gently. The truth? Aside from the brutish attack moments ago, Christina's life had been nothing but chaste. White foam leached from the pony's neck and he took in thunderous snorts. He wouldn't be able to keep this pace much longer. Christina steered him through a copse of trees and up the crag where just that morning she'd stood with King Robert and Sir Boyd before they'd led the Scottish battalion into the valley. There, she could gain a good vantage point and try to determine where the backstabbing English were heading with Andrew this time. At the crest of the outcropping, she pulled the horse to a halt. The pony cannot keep going at this pace. The man's eyebrows slanted inward and he gave her a quizzical stare. Good Lord, his tempest-blue eyes pierced straight through her soul. Are you speaking English?'s Christmas
Amy Jarecki