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The Sandman - Endless Nights
Neil Gaiman





SERGEI: I have remembered this too much; so now I can no longer be sure whether it is the event that I am remembering, or my memory of the event.

Death





DEATH: Hello Sergei.

SERGEI: Have you seen any other kids around here, like me? We were playing.

DEATH: I haven't seen anybody here in a long time.

SERGEI: What are you doing?

DEATH: Watching that gate. I'm waiting for the day that it opens.

SERGEI: Well, why don't you just go around it?

DEATH: That wouldn't be fair. And what makes you think that I'd reach the same place if I went around it?

SERGEI: It's locked. Or it's rusted shut. It won't open.

DEATH: I can wait.

Death, Death and Venice





SERGEI: Everything moved slowly when I saw her. The rain seemed to fall gently, like snowflakes.

Death, Death and Venice





SERGEI: I shall see her again. I know that in my heart. One last time. Until then, I shall continue to send people to her.

Death, Death and Venice





SERGEI: The people in the city seem paper thin in the mist. They believe they are dancing to the music of their lives... But I think, like the puppets, each of us is pulled upon invisible strings, until the night comes and we are put away. I shiver, and hurry from the square, as the darkness of the city closes over me like canal water or the grave.

Death, Death and Venice





...the Gods did not count time spent fishing in the hours of a man's life..

Desire, What I've tasted of Desire





WITCH: So you're after a love potion?

KARA: I'd not want a man I could buy with a potion. And I don't believe that any of your potions work.

WITCH: Hee. Well, they don't not work. They buy a girl or a boy the confidence to make a first move -- to look or to touch or to smile, where otherwise they'd just look away and sigh.

Desire, What I've tasted of Desire





WITCH: So it's not a potion you want, what is it?

KARA: I want him to want me as much as I want him.

WITCH: There are gods and goddesses you could pray to, or sacrifice to. They'll do anything for a little blood spilled on the right stone.

KARA: I've never cared for gods or goddesses. Their gifts don't come free.

WITCH: Nothing comes free, girl.

Desire, What I've tasted of Desire





DESIRE: I should warn you, getting what you want and being happy are two quite different things.

Desire, What I've tasted of Desire





KILLALLA: For generations, my people have been studying the intersection of force and will, and how we could harness it, as light, to improve the universe.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





DEATH: I was invited. I have come. Make of that what you will.

MIZAR: We are honored, Lady.

DEATH: I am making you uncomfortable.

MIZAR: No, Lady. Not at all.

DEATH: I shall leave. Decide what you like at your parliament. It is all one to me. It won't make a lot of difference, in the long run, will it? One by one, you will all come to me.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





FAERIE: The way I see it now, Faerie won't be a dimension so much as an aspiration. Do you see?

RAO: Mm. Will it be tied to any particular sun-system?

FAERIE: Not as such. It will need a certain quality of light one simply get from your people.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





KILLALLA: Why was everyone afraid of his older sister? The pretty one? They wouldn't talk to her or anything?

STO-OA: Because in the end, each sun, each world, every galaxy will collapse and end, either into flame, or into darkness. And when that happens, she will be there, for each of us. Now do you understand?

KILLALLA: Not really.

STO-OA: She is Death.

KILLALLA: Oh. You mean... she's the Goddess of Death, or the incarnation, or...

STO-OA: No. She is Death. Just as that one is Desire, or your lover is Dream.

KILLALLA: Of course he is Dream. I met him in the Kingdom of Dream, and he followed me back. He's the king there...

STO-OA: No, Killalla. He is not the king. He is Dream.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





KILLALLA: That's a silly name. That's what children call the sun on the world where I come from. "The Light of Oa."

STO-OA: Just because a name is used by the young doesn't make it foolish. I am the light of Oa, after all, am I not? I shine on all Oa... We are the stars. We do not represent them. We are them.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





STO-OA: I think... I think he saw us.

KILLALLA: Why should that scare you? You are a sun.

STO-OA: I am a sun, certainly. But he is dream. They say Death is kinder than he is.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





DAUGHTER: When I have life actually walking and dancing and dreaming on my surface, will the Endless come to me, properly? Will Dream be there?

SOL: Yes.

DAUGHTER: Poor Dream. And what happened to he? To Killalla of the Glow?

SOL: She died, as they all die. They do not live long, but she made Sto-Oa happy, for a moment, and on her death he translated her into his center, to burn inside the heart of he star and comfort him through the long night.

DAUGHTER: That's good. Poor Sto-Oa. Poor Killalla.

SOL: Go back to sleep, my daughter. Rest awhile... Sleep until life wakes you.

Dream, The Heart of a Star





Her eyes are grey.

Her hair is straggly and wet.

Her fingers are stubby.

The nails are chewed and broken.

Her teeth are crooked, jagged things.

Her sigil is the hooked ring.

One day her hook will catch your heart.

Describing her, we articulate what she is and why she is: when hope is past, she is there.

She is in a thousand thousand waiting rooms and empty streets, in grey comcrete buildings and anonymous hotels.

She is on the other side of every mirror.

When the eyes that look back at you know you too well, and no longer care for what they see, they are her eyes.

She stands and waits, and in her posture the pain no longer tells you to live, and in her presence joy is unimaginable.

Despair, 15 Portraits of Despair





She decides to make a list of the things that make her happy.

She writes 'plum-blossom' at the top of a piece of paper.

Then she stares at the paper, unable to think of anything else.

Eventually it begins to get dark.

Despair, 15 Portraits of Despair





I have heard the language of apocalypse, and now I shall embrace the silence.

Delirium, Going Inside





RACHEL: Speaking as an archaeologist, I'd say it's a penny. It's an American Lincoln penny. One of several billion minted. It's not exactly a unique artefact, Stanley. Probably dropped by a tourist.

STANLEY: Look close. It bears a date that hasn't happened yet. That's what we're excavating here. It's the future.

Destruction, On the Peninsula





RACHEL: Hey. Have you had any experience? With ruins?

DESTRUCTION: I've certainly made my share of them.

Destruction, On the Peninsula





The paintings in Destiny's hall show his brothers and sisters as they might wish to be seen (although the wish and the thing are so close in the realm of the Endless that you cannot get a thin-bladed knife between them).

You will spend time in each of his siblings - you will dream, despair, desire, destroy, delight and otherwise, and, eventually, die - but you were his from the very first page, and only he will read how your story comes out, a long time from now.

Destiny, Endless Nights





The meaning of the patterns of the spots of each leopard is written there, along with the truth of the shapes of clouds, and the strange, funny song-lives of the bacteria-folk and the secrets of wind whispers when there is no one there to listen.

Everything is in there, from the beginning of time to the end.

Destiny, Endless Nights





He did not create the path you walk. But the movements of atoms and galaxies are in his book, and he sees little difference between them.

It is all in his book. One day he will lay it down, when the book is done, and what comes after that is still unwritten.

Destiny continues to walk.

He is holding a book. Inside the book is the Universe.

Destiny, Endless Nights



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