Lotus Williams to Reno, owner of Reno's lesbian dive bar:
“Tell me where the book is, Reno,” Lotus says. “I don’t want to, but I swear—I’ll hurt you if I have to to get it. And I will get it. If there’s only one of us standing, you better believe it will be me.”
She waves her hand as if to shoo me away. I bring my foot back and smack her thigh with more strength than I have ever had in me. She shrieks and grabs her leg.
I feel as if I have torn out a section of my soul and stomped on it. Suddenly a voice rises from me. It’s my voice, but it is also not my voice. It’s an older voice, a stronger voice, a voice that has taken possession of me. It’s a voice whose strength lies in terror, whose will is unshakable.
“Tell me about the book.”
I trade shreds of my soul for the truth. I cut slices of my heart for divine rumination. I am ten times a hundred. The fate of humanity itself is in my hands.
I fall upon her, put my fingers around her neck, squeeze as hard as I can. Almost before I realize what I’m doing, I hear her gasping for breath. Her mouth opens a silent scream. She battles for air, for life. I fight for a reason, a passion, a cause. And the passion, the cause I find at this moment is so powerful that the individual life force cannot slow it down.
“Alright,” she manages to whisper. “I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”
Black Lotus, 217-218.
Jean Zazzinsky to Lotus Williams:
“You were brought in for a reason, don’t you get it?
You need to figure out the reason you were brought in - you need to solve that mystery. And then I’ll know whether to shoot you or embrace you.”
Black Lotus, 128
Black Lotus by Lita Lepie
"Possibly one of the most artful colloquial narratives of the past decade."
- E. Cohen
"My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough..."
"...film noir in a book..."
"Awareness of race, gender and sexual orientation shades [Black Lotus] with great depth..."