I collect quotations and excerpts as I read and, occasionally, I select “faves” to share in a Goodreads Group called “Snippets That Inspire.” Today’s excerpt is from “Midnight’s Children” by Salmon Rushdie, whose description of fever captures the demented horror of solitary confinement, finding oneself trapped in a “no-fun” fun house of inescapable pain. This might be the best description of fever I have ever read:

“No colors except green and black the walls are green the sky is black (there is no roof) the stars are green the Widow is green but her hair is black as black. The Widow sits on a high high chair the chair is green the seat is black the Widow’s hair has a center-parting it is green on the left and on the right black. High as the sky the chair is green the seat is black the Widow’s arm is long as death its skin is green the fingernails are long and sharp and black. Between the walls the children green the walls are green the Widow’s arm comes snaking down the snake is green the children scream the fingernails are black they scratch the Widow’s arm is hunting see the children run and scream the Widow’s hand curls round them green and black. Now one by one the children mmff are stifled quiet the Widow’s hand is lifting one by one the children green their blood is black unloosed by cutting fingernails it splashes black on walls (of green) as one by one the curling hand lifts children high as sky the sky is black there are no stars the Widow laughs her tongue is green but her teeth are black. And children torn in two in Widow hands which rolling rolling halves of children roll them into little balls the balls are green the night is black. And little balls fly into night between the walls the children shriek as one by one the Widow’s hand. And in a corner the Monkey and I (the walls are green the shadows black) cowering crawling wide high walls green fading into black there is no roof and Widow’s hand comes onebyone the children scream and mmff and little balls and hand and scream and mmff and splashing stains of black. Now only she and I and no more screams the Widow’s hand comes hunting hunting the skin is green the nails are black towards the corner hunting hunting while we shrink closer into the corner our skin is green our fear is black and now the Hand comes reaching reaching and she my sister pushes me out out of the corner while she stays cowering staring the hand the nails are curling scream and mmff and splash of black and up into the high as sky and laughing Widow tearing I am rolling into little balls the balls are green and out into the night the night is black …”

“The fever broke today.”

Chime in here to leave a quote, or stop by to visit my Goodreads Author Page. Here’s the link:





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *