Quote: Iain M. Banks
(Once, in a market in Robunde, he had brought her a caged bird because it sang so beautifully. He took it to the room they were hiring while she completed her thesis paper on temple acoustics.
She thanked him graciously, walked to the window, opened the cage’s door and shooed the little bird out; it flew away over the square, singing. She watched the bird for a moment until it disappeared, then looked around to him with an expression that was at once apologetic, defiant and concerned. He was leaning against the door frame, smiling at her.)
A passage from Banks’s Look to Windward, a science fiction novel from the Culture series. Our protagonist—of a sort—is reflecting on times he had with his wife, who was killed in battle. The parentheses are part of the original text, and do a nice job of setting off this little vignette.