The women, practically all of them veiled, were holding photographs of naively smiling young men and shouting: “Bring back our brother!” or “Bring back our son!” There wasn’t a single policeman in sight, which was especially strange.
“Not exactly,” the president answered. “The thing is, here in Africa everyone's black. So at the Center they'll take off your white hides and pull on black ones.” “Oh, how wonderful!” Masha the stewardess was delighted. “That means I'm going to be black!”
“And you’re not afraid of death anymore?” “Oh, madam!” the child cried out, and her face shone with joy. “Death is the most wonderful thing in the world.” A cold shiver ran up my back. All of sudden I didn’t feel quite so snug in this autumnal park.
Hi, Julia, skinhead girl with a twisted smile, given to mild swearing. You saunter out, look your public over with that sneer of yours, hands in your pockets, clenched in tight fists. There’s just you and an audience, Julia, and who’s to say they are all on your side? You smirk, put on that husky voice, close your eyes in the spotlight, strike that guitar and sing about getting drunk on Saturday nights.
“Excuse me,” she asked. “Are you by any chance Hans Christian Andersen?” “No,” I admitted reluctantly, “my parents named me something else.” “But you do write fairy tales? Our pilot Potapov just adores fairy tales. As soon as he found out that you were on this flight, he wanted to meet you.”
“Human thought is a restless thing and so Allah himself provided an outlet for it - the mouth,” the Grand Vizier countered. “It’s unthinkable that if a person has a thought he would keep it to himself and not divulge it to anyone. We ought to know people’s innermost thoughts, those they only share with those closest to them, when they are not afraid of being eavesdropped on.”