She was surprised when she saw him, and caught herself halfway out the door with the breeze brushing her hair into her eyes. She was slow to let go of the handle and let the door fall shut behind her, slow to pull her hair back. When she smiled, it was careful and raw, like pulling an old gun off the closet shelf.
And they both paused, trying to remember after all this time, if it was loaded.
He took a breath, tucking his hands down into the pockets of his coat.
She drew her hair behind her ear.
“Hey, Trouble,” he murmured.
Her smile cracked wider, slanted, and suddenly obvious.
“Hey, Stranger,” she said. “How have you been?”
Answers served with a certain song thrown in the mix
Summer searched: What’s the original meaning behind the Christmas tree-topper?
Since the 1800s, the most common Christmas Tree Toppers have been angels and stars. The angel was originally meant to symbolize Gabriel for his role in announcing the birth of the Christ. The star was meant to represent the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Wise Men to the Christ. Placing these symbols on top of the tree was meant to be a declaration of faith. The declaration of faith, in turn, was thought to hold evil spirits outside the house during the holidays.
There was a minor anomaly in the 1870s, when families put the Union Jack on top of the tree more often than either the angel or the star. Who knows what that kept out of the house.
The ground was still frozen when the war started. Edri thought her mind was still numb as well, when that was the first thought that rose to consciousness after she saw the notices pinned up around town. There were long weeks before the earth would thaw enough for them to drive a spade into. Long weeks before they could start the planting and by then hundreds of able hands would already have left for the borders. Fewer workers, but they would seed as much ground as they could, eager for whatever extra they could get in the coming seasons.
Edri pulled her scarf tighter around her head and kept walking through the main square, as if she hadn’t thought anything at all.
by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is starting her freshman year of college, and for the first time in her life, her twin – her partner-in-crime, her constant companion – has decided that they might be better off with a little elbow room between them. Or, you know, half the campus. Within a month, her sister has decided to run wild, and Cath… has barely left her dorm. Her roommate is prickly, classes are hard, boys are strange, and she’s pretty sure she can survive by keeping her head down and rationing the protein bars she keeps under the bed.
But when her twin’s antics start dragging Cath out of the dorm at midnight, old troubles crop up faster than she can get home to deal with them, and the things which she’s worked the hardest for start pricking her in return, she has a hard time believing that locking her door is still the best way to get through it all.
Here’s hoping that you and yours share smiles with each other today, celebrate like tomorrow can wait while, and do not receive your first I Love Yous while your head is inside a giant turkey.
No one slept the night before they were supposed to leave the pass. They packed up their belongings. They secured the carts. They brushed down the horses, calming the animals even as they couldn’t calm themselves. Deorsa watched Tiernan across one of the campfires, both of them wrapped in their business with the men and women who came and went.
“You’re sure we can trust him?” Deorsa asked. Only once.
“Yes,” Tiernan told her.
And just before sunrise, they rumbled slowly down the path.
The sky was pink and gray when they reached the foot of the mountain. The birds were twittering, echoing in the clear silence. The trees stood sentinel between them and the fortress. The whole column picked up speed on flat ground. Tiernan and Deorsa aimed them toward the open plain in the east.
After the sun had gone down, they circled the carts and made a rough camp. They would settle more permanently in the morning, once they were sure they had come far enough past the fortress to find solid footing.
Revca found Tiernan in the dark. Astride her horse, she stopped beside his tent, pulling back on the reins to force her horse to hold still as it tried to dance in place. She and the other scouts had been running wide circles around the column all day, and she herself didn’t look any more ready to relax into the evening.
“I ran across your boy,” she said. She watched his face. “Aled.”
The snow was coming soon. Looking up, Keada felt it in the weight of the clouds with their gray, bowing bellies. The sun had been fighting its way through in fits and starts since morning, but now it was just sifting its way through as if it had given up trying to define the world’s shadows. The air had been cutting cold at sunrise, and still as stone. Now, it brushed against her cheeks, just warm enough to feel like the breath of something a little too alive, a little too far away.
[checks the closet]
[checks under the bed]
[checks the backseat of her car]
[checks between the couch cushions]
[checks the refrigerator]
All right, has anyone seen where my day went?
One answer served. It just takes a long time.
Kate Kearney searched: Would you create some alphabet instructions for an amazing roadtrip?
Let’s get started:
Announce your intentions to take a massively awesome trip. For each acquaintance who is aware that you are going, it becomes one order of magnitude harder to back out of your plans. You can explain yourself to your friends. Your acquaintances will be waiting to live vicariously through you, and it gets awkward when you disappoint them.
Bring friends. Whether you’ll be driving far enough each day to want to take turns driving or not, you do want the company. You do not want to be so desperate for human interaction that you become one of those people who strikes up a conversation in the gas station restroom.
As far as lunatic schemes went, this was the best he had ever conjured, and they both knew it. It was elegant, so simple in its execution, and grandiose in its aim, that the desperation of it almost faded out of notice. It had flair and more than enough opportunities to show off for people who were actually waiting to be impressed. It was even possible that their names might be written down somewhere afterward, in a way that wouldn’t point to them as delinquents. And it would be fun.
“All right,” he said. “You can stop looking like that.” Leaned all the way back in his chair with his heels kicked out under the table, he waved his mug at her.
She turned her head, looked at him sideways. “Like what?” But she couldn’t stop herself from smiling, and smiling wider, as the brilliance of the plan bloomed in front of her.
“Stop,” he insisted, dragging the word out, even though his eyes were bright with it too.