Could it have been anyone, or was it destiny? When I’m considering this I find it helpful to quote the wisdom of my father, who once told me, “Who knows why the fuck anything happens?
I woke in the hour before dawn, stuck in that strange state where the memory of your dreams is still powerful enough to motivate your actions.
For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call.
I was tempted to tell her it was because we were British and actually had a sense of humour, but I try not to be cruel to foreigners, especially when they’re that strung out.
Five hundred years ago the notoriously savvy Henry VIII discovered an elegant way to solve both his theological problems and his personal liquidity crisis —he dissolved the monasteries and nicked all their land.
I looked into the literature on this,” said Nightingale, “and it wasn’t very helpful.””There’s a literature about this?””You’d be amazed, Constable, about what there’s a literature on.
This is why magic is worse even than quantum physics. Because, while both spit in the eye of common sense, I’ve never yet had a Higgs bosun turn up and try to have a conversation with me.
Can you sacrifice people?’ I asked. ‘Take their magic that way?”Yes,’ he said. ‘But there’s a catch.”What’s the catch?”You get hunted down even unto the ends of the Earth and summarily executed.
I did feel a ‘something’, like a catch in the silence at the moment of creation.
He called it potentia because there’s nothing quite like Latin for disguising the fact you’re making it up as you go along.
This is where the whole ape-descended thing reveals its worth, I thought madly. Sucks to be you, quadruped. Opposable thumbs – don’t leave home without them.
On the plus side, there were no rioters in sight but on the minus side this was probably because everywhere I looked was on fire.
That’s because they don’t know,’ said Tyburn. ‘It’s like economics. Everybody’s got a theory, and some people make it their religion.
The British have always been madly overambitious, and from one angle it can seem like bravery, but from another it looks suspiciously like a lack of foresight.
I didn’t think that Herefordshire Social Services would be best pleased about me dumping a poorly socialised pre-teen with mind control powers on them.
Holy paranormal activity, Nightingale – to the Jag mobile.
It’s a police mantra that all members of the public are guilty of something, but some members of the public are more guilty than others.
The white boys knew they had my attention now, but hesitated — that’s the trouble with being a racist in the white heartlands, you don’t get a lot of practical experience.
My mum translated this in her head to “witchfinder,” which was good because like most West Africans, she considered witchfinding a more respectable profession than policeman.
The clever people at CERN are smashing particles together in the hope that Doctor Who will turn up and tell them to stop
In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.
So magic is real,’ I said. ‘Which makes you a … what?’‘A wizard.’‘Like Harry Potter?’Nightingale sighed. ‘No,’ he said, ‘not like Harry Potter.’‘In what way?’‘I’m not a fictional character,’ said Nightingale.
This I know for a fact: the reason African women have children is so that there’s someone else to do the housework.
You know there’s always things in life that you have to do despite the fact that you know for certain the outcome is going to be messy, painful, humiliating, or all three.
Despite my mum being from a small village in the middle of a forest, I’m not a country person. I don’t like my bacon sandwich to be curiously snuffling at my fingers. But sometimes being police means holding your breath and fondling a pig.
He was a Parisian,’ he said. ‘You can never be sure what Parisians believe in – beyond Paris of course.
First law of gossip – there’s no point knowing something if somebody else doesn’t know you know it.