The Lost Soul


1. Arcadia

The peak, it’s what you’d notice first, brilliantly dull, yet as sharp as a knife – it is an arrowhead pointing straight to heaven. The wind whistles mournfully around the sleek sloping sides, companionless in the vast tundra, like a lone soldier, jet-black in colour. The breath of its name, “Arcadia,” is enough to strike fear into even the purest souls. But fear is not what it deals in, and souls are its specialty. This pyramid is a sanctuary: Arcadia is a sanctum for the world’s souls.  

Anima had risen early that morning, or what she thought was the morning. She could never be sure, Arcadia had no entry point, yet it didn’t need it, Arcadia had thousands of windows, thousands of doors, leading to all corners of the world, all in the form of brilliant amethyst orbs, each a gateway into every one of the world’s souls. Only, it was a one-way gate, Anima had many times looked down through her windows to see the world a mess, and there was nothing she would be able to do about it. She was a spectator, but also the keeper, keeper of the world’s souls.

She roamed the endless corridors of the pyramid her bare feet slipped almost soundlessly on the sleek silver floor. The only noise penetrating the blissful serenity was her barely audible humming; she hummed no particular song, she didn’t know any, she had learnt all she knew by watching, listening to the orbs. By this time she had reached the hub of Arcadia, the endless orbs engulfed the plane white linen dress worn by the small curious girl – Anima felt safe under an ominous glow omitted by them.

Ordinarily the inner temple was just like every other room in the pyramid, a plain grey, dull; sterile some would say, none of the rooms needed be more, this wasn’t a show home, this was the hub of the world (it was about practicality rather than style). But what made the room Anima occupied different from the rest was what populated it. Lustrous steel shelves lined the room from wall to wall, from floor to ceiling, spread on each shelf were sets of stands, each two inches from one another, and it was upon these stands that each humans’ soul sat.

They glistened, emitting a glow, radiating from within; together they were so dazzling that Anima had to shield her eyes. A smile swept across her face. She had no one in the world, but even so these souls were her family, she lived their lives each day. And today was no exception, her pace quickened - gazing around, her eyes searching for the perfect soul to watch.

“There!” she exclaimed to herself. Her voice trailing off, remembering that she was alone. She simply had to raise her hand and the chosen soul levitated toward her, Anima caught it with ease. Her face lit up as she selected her perfect soul, however this soul was far from perfect. What she was about to witness, was the ending of the world. If only she had chosen another, any soul but that one…

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