Nothing held him but the one affection of his life--the memory of Plumfield, the fear of disappointing these faithful friends, the pride, stronger than principle, that made him want to keep the regard of the mates who always had admired and loved him in spite of all his faults.
The good Professor opened his arms and embraced his boys like a true German, not ashamed to express by gesture or by word the fatherly emotions an American would have compressed into a slap on the shoulder and a brief 'All right'.
It impressed them more than many quiet home lectures would have done, and roused an ambition to help when their time should come, well knowing that even in glorious America there is still plenty to be done before she is what she should be--truly just, and free, and great.
Juice Like Wounds
- Seanan McGuire
Stories are weapons, you see. All stories. Some are swords and some are cudgels, but all of them can hurt you, if you allow it. If you give them the space they need to twist and wriggle in your hands, becoming something other than friendly, becoming something other than tame. All stories are weapons, and children’s stories are doubly so, for children have not yet learned how to be careful.
The Archivist did not make many mistakes. She’d had time enough to break the habit. But it meant that when she did make them, her first mistake would be the mistake itself, and her second would be failing to see it clearly. She believed in the illusion of her own omnipotence, and so her small failings were doubled.
She could have said that the pomegranate grove would be reclaimed in time, but that the cost to do so would be very high, for it was the home to a monster that had once been a girl named Zorah, who had fallen into the Market from Lundy’s own world, who had been sweet enough to attract a door, but filled with a heart of venom and cruelty that had left her unable to trade fairly with her fellows. When her cruelty had grown too much to contain and she had fled to the dark places, she had found herself clad not in feathers but in a hard striped shell of chitin and pain. Good children who made bad bargains became birds. Bad children who cheated and deceived became their destroyers.