"In the room across the hall a naked girl lay atop the tousled covers of a bed fashioned from gleaming tubular brass. He turned away in awkward haste and made to close the door but something about the girl drew his eyes back to her. She was very still. She lay profoundly still and seemed not to feel the cold...
Her eyes were open. They were blue. A vase had been overturned on an old sewing machine cabinet set beside the bed for a night table and five roses lay on the bed and a single long stem rose lay across the rounded marble of her abdomen...
She lay staring at the ceiling and as motionless as if she were holding her breath."
"He had come to believe that before this was over he was going to have to shoot somebody. Brady, Coble, who knew. Just start with the dogs and work up."
"He was a fierce looking corpse to the end, doomed reprobate patriarch whose lineage had gone strange and violent, he lay sternfaced and remote, at a cold remove from his seed that had bloomed finally in poisonous and evil flowers."
"Her hair was drawn thinly back on either side of her face, the line of scalp that showed where it was parted like old parchment. The face itself dark and corrugated as an old walnut kicked out of the leaves in the woods. Her eyes were near lashless and murky, like water that had once been clear and clean clotting up with seaweed and slime."
"The first thing he saw was his own handwriting, the second a note that had been paper clipped to his manuscript: We regret that we are unable to read handwritten manuscripts..."