William Faulkner, “That Evening Sun”

“She came and sat in a chair before the hearth. There was a little fire there. Nancy built it up, when it was already hot inside. She built a good blaze. She told a story. She talked like her eyes looked, like her eyes watching us and her voice talking to us did not belong to her. Like she was living somewhere else, waiting somewhere else. She was outside the cabin. Her voice was inside and the shape of her, the Nancy that could stoop under a barbed wire fence with a bundle of clothes balanced on her head as though without weight, like a balloon, was there. But that was all.”


Moments of Ineptitude in True Crime History

“Leopold had already described his bird-watching trip of the Sunday before the murder. They had probably fallen out of his pocket. Nevertheless, he was brought in for questioning. He declared at first that his spectacles were at home. But when a long search failed to unearth them, he admitted that he had probably lost them on the bird-watching trip. How had he lost them?, asked the interrogators. Leopold said that he stumbled at one point, close to the culvert where Bobby Franks was later found. They asked him to demonstrate; Leopold obligingly put the glasses in his top pocket, and then fell down flat on the floor. The glasses remained where they were. He tried again; the glasses still stayed in the pocket.”

– From Colin Wilson’s “Written in Blood: The Criminal Mind & Method”

Harlan Ellison, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”

“AM wasn’t God, he was a machine. We had created him to think, but there was nothing it could do with that creativity. In rage, in frenzy, the machine had killed the human race, almost all of us, and still it was trapped. AM could not wander, AM could not wonder, AM could not belong. He could merely be. And so, with the innate loathing that all machines had always held for the weak, soft creatures who had built them, he had sought revenge. And in his paranoia, he had decided to reprieve five of us, for a personal, everlasting punishment that would never serve to diminish his hatred … that would merely keep him reminded, amused, proficient at hating man. Immortal, trapped, subject to any torment he could devise for us from the limitless miracles at his command.

He would never let us go. We were his belly slaves. We were all he had to do with his forever time. We would be forever with him, with the cavern-filling bulk of the creature machine, with the all-mind soulless world he had become. He was Earth, and we were the fruit of that Earth; and though he had eaten us, he would never digest us. We could not die. We had tried it.”

Brian Phillips, “Sea of Crisis”

“Back in Tokyo, I thought the city was a river, the urban element somehow changed to liquid form. In New York, the storefronts come and go but the shape of things stays relatively stable, which is why you can, say, lay a photograph from the 1940s over a neighborhood scene from today. You marvel at the difference, but the edges connect. War, earthquakes, fire, and human ingenuity have annihilated Tokyo over and over again; the city never stops building because it never stops rebuilding. Change comes like a crash, like a wave, the crowd parting and then re-forming around whatever new reality has fallen from the sky. We were shopping for sunglasses, now we’re eating ice cream, let’s listen to music, let’s take pictures with our phones.”