A life, Jimmy. You know what that is? It’s the shit that happens while you’re waiting for moments that never come.
-Lestor Freamon, The Wire.
If you want to be a fine new person with a fine new life you’ve got to put the person you were behind you, like a snake sheds its skin. You’ve got to stop picking through your hoard of hurts and grievances like a miser with his coins, set ’em down and allow yourself to go free. You’ve got to forgive and you’ve got to trust, not because anyone else deserves it, but because you do.
– Joe Abercrombie, Three’s A Crowd, Sharp Ends.
“Evil is evil, Stregobor,” said the witcher seriously as he got up. “Lesser, greater, middling, it’s all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I’m not a pious hermit. I haven’t done only good in my life. But if I’m to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”
― Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish
There’s power in the night. There’s terror in the darkness. Despite all our accumulated history, learning, and experience, we remember. We remember times when we were too small to reach the light switch on the wall, and when the darkness itself was enough to makes us cry out in fear.
Get a good ways out from civilization-say, miles and miles away on a lightless lake-and the darkness is there, waiting. Twilight means more than just time to call the children in from playing outside. Fading light means more than just the end of another day. Night is when terrible things emerge from their sleep and seek soft flesh and hot blood. Night is when unseen beings with no regard for what our people have built and no place in what we have deemed the natural order look in at our world from outside, and think dark and alien thoughts.
And sometimes, just sometimes, they do things.
-Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Turn Coat
Dogman nodded, took a long ragged breath and blew it out. ‘Anyone want to speak for Threetrees?’
Dow flinched and looked down at his boots, shifting ’em in the dirt. Tul blinked up at the sky, looking like he had a bit of damp in his eye. Dogman himself was only a stride away from weeping as it was. If he had to speak another word he knew he’d set to bawling like a child. Threetrees would have known what to say, but there was the trouble, he was gone. Seemed like no one had any words. Then Grim took a step forward.
‘Rudd Threetrees,’ he said, looking round at ’em one by one. ‘Rock of Uffrith, they called him. No bigger name in all the North. Great fighter. Great leader. Great friend. Lifetime o’ battles. Stood face to face with the Bloody-Nine, then shoulder to shoulder with him. Never took an easy path, if he thought it was the wrong one. Never stepped back from a fight, if he thought it had to be done. I stood with him, walked with him, fought with him, ten years, all over the North.’ His face broke out in a smile. ‘I’ve no complaints.’
‘Good words, Grim,’ said Dow, looking down at the cold earth. ‘Good words.’
‘There’ll be no more like Threetrees,’ muttered Tul, wiping his eye like he’d got something in it.
— Joe Abercrombie, Before They Are Hanged.
“Right is what all this is about,” Roland said. “But if you look to long at the small rights, Jake—the ones that lie close at hand— it’s easy to lose sight of the big ones that stand farther off. Things are out of joint—going wrong and getting worse. We see it all around us, but the answers are still ahead. While we were helping the twenty or thirty people left in River Crossing, twenty or thirty thousand more might be suffering or dying somewhere else. And if there is any place in the universe where these things can be set right, it’s at the Dark Tower.”
- Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands.
You will not see what you do not look for, maggot, Cort would have said.
- Stephen King, The Gunslinger.