The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper : Creepy quote of the day

Crow caught in a spider's web

Image: Pixabay

 

Young Will Stanton has discovered he is one of the Old Ones, defenders of the Light against the forces of Darkness. It’s Christmas Day and the service has just ended at the local country church. Snow has the land in an icy grip, sinister black birds lurk in every tree and as the congregation fades away, the Dark pins Will and other Old Ones inside the church …

The Old Ones stood in the doorway of the church, their arms linked together. None spoke a word to another. Wild noise and turbulence rose outside; the light darkened, the wind howled and whined, the snow whirled in and whipped their faces with white chips of ice. And suddenly the rooks were in the snow, hundreds of them, black flurries of malevolence, cawing and croaking, diving down at the porch in shrieking attack and then swooping up, away. They could not come close enough to claw and tear; it was as if an invisible wall made them fall back within inches of their targets. But that would be only for as long as the Old Ones’ strength could hold. In a wild storm of black and white the Dark attacked, beating at their minds as at their bodies, and above all driving hard at the Sign-seeker, Will.

 


The lovely Mandibelle 16 has nominated me for the Three Quotes, Three Days – thanks Amanda – which is a lovely thread where bloggers post edifying quotes to inspire and encourage others.

Sadly, I find I am not the inspiring and encouraging type. So I thought I’d spin the prompt into something more ‘me’ and (it being the season for the scary) post some favourite quotes from crackingly terrifying books instead.

I can’t talk about Susan Cooper’s criminally underrated* The Dark is Rising without, quite frankly, coming across as a bit weird. 

It is without doubt the book that has shaped me the most so far as taste in literature and my own writing is concerned. It’s the mix of Christmas and the snow covered English countryside and pagan, Celtic and Arthurian myth, magic and danger and good versus evil. I’ve basically been looking all my life for a book that will take hold of me the way this book did. Still searching.


*I only say this because so many people haven’t heard of or read these books. Which should be a criminal offence – no exceptions.

P.S I have not watched the film adaptation made in 2007 where all pagan elements were removed along with most of the back story and several major characters and our hero became American. With apologies to my lovely blogging cousins across the Atlantic, but that’s like adapting The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and having Tom Sawyer come from a council estate in Central London. Poor show! 

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill: Creepy Quote of the Day

Ancient graveyard

Image: Pixabay

 

Arthur Kipps is alone at the isolated Eel Marsh House, with only the plucky Jack Russell Spider for company. It’s November, the light is fading, and Arthur spies The Woman in Black, standing amid jumbled gravestones … 

 … Now, however, as I stared at her, stared until my eyes ached in their sockets, stared in surprise and bewilderment at her presence, now I saw that her face did wear an expression. It was one of what I can only describe – and the words seem hopelessly inadequate to express what I saw – as a desperate, yearning malevolence; it was as though she was searching for something she wanted, needed – must have, more than life itself, and which had been taken from her. And towards whoever had taken it, she directed the purest evil and hatred and loathing, with all the force that was available to her …

 


The lovely Mandibelle 16 has nominated me for the Three Quotes, Three Days – thanks Amanda – which is a lovely thread where bloggers post edifying quotes to inspire and encourage others.

Sadly, I find I am not the inspiring and encouraging type. So I thought I’d spin the prompt into something more ‘me’ and (it being the season for the scary) post some favourite quotes from crackingly terrifying books instead.

This quote is from the creepy The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, actually not an easy novel to quote from successfully, as the atmosphere of dread and impending horror is built subtly over chapters, not in quotable chunks. You’ll just have to read the whole book to appreciate the full effect …  

The Graveyard Book: Neil Gaiman : Creepy Quote of the Day

Dagger with silver hilt

Image: Pixabay


 

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even now you had been cut, not immediately.

The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet …

 


The lovely Mandibelle 16 has nominated me for the Three Quotes, Three Days – thanks Amanda – which is a lovely thread where bloggers post edifying quotes to inspire and encourage others.

Sadly, I find I am not the inspiring and encouraging type. So I thought I’d spin the prompt into something more ‘me’ and (it being the season for the scary) post some favourite quotes from crackingly terrifying books instead.

Today’s quote opens with one of the most arresting first lines I’ve read, from the wonderful The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I won’t be officially nominating anyone else to take up the mantle, but if you fancy a go…

More things I’ve overheard on the bus

Eiffel Tower and carousel

Image: Pixabay

 

If everyone could fly, no one would be afraid of heights.

(Young boy to his dad. Overheard on the number 90 bus one early Bristol morning.)

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Think about this one. I can’t make my mind up whether this is sweetly naive or the deepest, most insightful comment I’ve ever overheard. What do you think?