The Ruin of Worlds

This is a teaser for the sci-fi novel The Ruin of Worlds written by Scott Godbold (Perfection of Time is my pen name on Wattpad!). Feed back is appreciated!

In a world of division, fighting for how you feel is a worthless battle that will always end in your defeat. Eighteen-year-old Soul wants to fight his own war, get his own wounds, and play by his own rules. In a City he despises, he is forced to bare the pain of watching innocent people survive without their own minds, living without thinking, following rules that appear harmless; until you read between the lines.

"They never could be part of a world where pedigrees were bred."

Pandora Cross was that pedigree.

And she was his only weakness.

© All Rights Reserved 2015

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1. Pandora

It always seemed dead, the metal shutters across each window, the same, simple-shaped brick buildings, and the dark. It was almost as if a blanket had suffocated the pearlescent glow of the gentle moon. And what he didn't understand was how something so beautifully powerful could be suppressed by something so terribly unnatural. Despite the open space surrounding them, he still had an overwhelming feeling of being caged.

He glanced to his left and noticed Playboy, his strong frame was tensed and his pulse was throbbing against his neck. Glistening in the dark were two beads of sweat sat frozen against his forehead. His eyes focused on the small and handmade device, where a sharp blade was gradually slicing a circle into the glass pane of a far too polished window. He could almost hear the crackle of the finely incrusted crystal glass.

 

“Alright, pull it off now,” Playboy muttered, stepping back to admire his work. He stepped forward and clasped the rubber handle of the handmade device and gave a small twist before tugging the circular glass piece away from the pane. When he leant forward to inspect the small hole, it was clearly big enough for a hand to fit through, his hand.

 

“It's all yours,” Playboy teased.

 

He reached inside and felt for the smooth surface of the door handle, his calloused hand gripped onto the small lock. It was simple, considering all he had to do was flick it and push on the handle. He thought those places were designed specifically to not let break-ins happen.

Behind his thin, worn out hood, the walls were bare and seemingly unfinished, it was almost like they were halfway through decorating, but on the inside, he knew that pitiful excuse of a home was as finished as it was ever going to be. Gathering from the exotic use of oak, he could see how important the occupants of the house were.

 

“You know what we're here for, no messing around. Got it?” He looked across at Playboy, his hand already wrapped around the handle of a cupboard. He swatted it away and Playboy jumped back. “What did I just say?”

 

“Not...to make a sound?” His voice indicated his lack of knowledge. The boy simply rolled his eyes and moved away, hoping he would follow.

He was aware of the deathly silence weighed upon his shoulders, and tried not to allow it to effect his mission, but he couldn't help the fact it was supposed to be hard, he wasn't supposed to make it that far without already being caught. It wasn't a choice they made willingly; it was one they had to face. Too many people suffered the ignorant acts the others had placed upon them. What gave them the rights to dominate them, rule over them, stomp over their hope?

 

Some people weren't as privileged as those who were naturally better, quicker, and more intelligent. It's not always a persons fault they don't fit into the perfect puzzle.

 

He swung his duffel bag around his shoulder and pulled the door of the refrigerator open. The blast of cold air made him blink a few times, soothing the hot skin under his jumper. Scooping the contents of a couple of shelves into his bag, he wasn’t aware of what he was grabbing but of how much time he had left.

 

The fracturing of china raining across the wooden floor woke Soul from his trail of thought. He looked across at the stiffened body, causing his anger to rise. Playboy, who looked as shocked as he felt angry, stood there gaping at him. His eyes narrowed.

 

“Soul,” he hissed. But it was too late, he knew it as much as Soul did. The girl that stood by the doorway wore nothing but a nightdress that clung to her delicate shoulders. She stared between the shattered vase and the two men stood in her hallway, eyes wide with fear.

Her lips moved to form a scream of terror but failed to escape before Soul's hand was curled around her small throat.

 

“Don't,” he snarled, “we don't want to wake everyone up now, do we?”

She trembled beneath his fingertips and his grip loosened ever so slightly, her short and quick breaths came out warm across the pale boy's cheek. Her body shifted against his while her hand whipped up and across to his face, it was quick but not quick enough, her wrist caught between his hand and his thumb slipped across her soft, tender skin. To Soul's disappointment – and possibly hers – there was nothing, no mark of her relationship, no mark of her match.

 

Soul looked up at her as his hood slipped from his face, the recognition that flashed across her eyes was no doubt mirrored in his own. He remembered her face, her soft eyes as she spoke. She looked so lost and out of place, she was like a dove amongst a flock of crows and he wanted to catch that little bird.

 

It was Playboy's idea to sneak into the ceremony, they both knew the risks and the stakes they could be put at. Soul hated it anyway, yet something about the girl was different, and like no one he'd ever seen before. The Pairings had been like a religious practise for as long as he could remember to those people, and something of excitement. Everybody had a place in the world, apart from them. The Imperfects. They never could be a part of a world where pedigrees were bred. The Perfects thought the Ceremony was natural, that they would find their one true love from a simple mark showing on the centre of their wrists. She didn't have one, and she was sat alone, like she didn't belong there.

 

“It's you, again...” she whimpered. “Please don't hurt me.”

He narrowed his eyes at the girl, she couldn't be no younger than him, but her eyes, wide with fright, pleaded like a child. He could hear Playboy in the background, his hushed words displaying the urgency in his voice. Soul's hand shot up, putting him to silence while his eyes remained focused on the quivering girl.

He realised that after a certain amount of time he would grow immune to the fear in people's eyes. The way they would grow wide with terror, he knew of a wise man that once said the eyes are the 'windows to the soul'. But the window to her soul was so pure and so innocent, it made him sick to the pits of his stomach.

“Go back to bed,” he snapped. She flinched and recoiled away from him, a small, courteous nod was her only reply before she soundlessly ran up the stairs.

Soul's shoulders sagged as he looked across at his friend, Playboy stared back with a straight back and hard eyes. She was scared of him, there was no doubt about it. And the pleasure fear usually brought to him never warmed him, never hummed under his skin. It should have been in his veins; it should have made him feel powerful.

 

* * * *

He closed his eyes. The darkness came over him in course waves, pulling him down into the deepest and darkest crevices of his shattered mind. He fell forever through endless black voids, sticky like ink, tar pulling through the next ear splitting scream or the next image of death. Finally came his fathers face. The kind, old man – his face worn away by decades of hard labor – praised his son with the smile of a thousand smiles; and then he was gone. The rest of his memories were without light. Without hope. Without love and smiles. So many years without love makes a person forget that it ever did exist and ever will.

Soul could feel himself drowning in his own sorrowful pity, and that disgusted him. Borrowing deep inside himself, he found more and more terrifying images and sickening thoughts of his own, he just wanted to feel the love he once did. The warmth and kindness that he held buried deep in the deepest chamber of his heart that not even he could force his way into any more.

That darkness was a darkness only he could take himself to. Where each shadow of himself piled on top of him, crushing all his bones, pressing on him until he snapped, rendering him unmoving and useless. They were his inner demons, and he had killed a fair few of them over the years. The harder they squeezed, the more effort it took to breathe, and the harder he had to fight to keep himself on top. Being stronger than them all – that will always be the hardest battle.

The lamp flashed on in a bright blaze. He felt a cold, delicate hand curl around his upper arm.

“Don't do that to yourself.”

The boy, once stood so strong, now curled on the floor of his cluttered room and looked up at the woman above him. The light lit her from behind, her skin dark and scarred, and her bones as sharp as the knife tucked into her boot. Snakes was lean, lacking the muscle to suit her lifestyle, her features stoned a purposeful glare at him.

“We need you.”

“I was asleep.” He scratched at a spot on his neck with his index finger, matching her glare with a deadly one of his own. “Thinking.”

“Right,” she mumbled with a sigh, treading around his room slowly, illuminating each light as she came to it. He pushed himself up, leaving his demons curled in the corner and his pain behind, pulling his shoulders up and towering back over the small woman. His face darkened, his sharp jawline being outlined in a glorious yellow glow. His body collapsed in a chair, and he glanced up at her, his eyes had closed.

“You feel like helping me out? Playboy's not too sexually demanding of you?” he teases, the corner of his lips curling in a cruel smile. Snakes sighed in annoyance and pulled up a chair behind him.

The computer booted itself up, casting an eerie blue glow across his face, making the dark shadows plastered to his face seem even darker, and his almost black eyes deepened into his sockets. Eternal pools of data flashed up on his screen, library's of peoples lives and windows into their very minds and souls.

The boy liked to think of it as a collection, a sick twisted collection of every life ever live. Face after face scrolled across the screen, escaping his line of sight. Their faces melted together in a mess of spaced-out eyes and wicked smiles, the monsters that lived on the inside seemed to tear through their skin. The liars, the cheats, the cowards and the monsters. The prides of his collect – those who deserved to be punished for what they did, and what they thought they escaped.

Pandora Cross. There she was. Her soft, blue eyes and gentle sloping jaw. The curly blonde hair framing her face made her easily comparable to a porcelain doll, with her ivory skin and eyes like the coldest ice.

“Pandora Rebecca Cross. Seventeen-years-old, going into tailoring.” Snakes read aloud. Her eyes widened. “Daughter of the Mayor? Is this the girl Playboy was talking about?”

“Trust me to get myself caught up with these people,” Soul mumbles to himself, only to receive a swat across the back of the head. His eyes darted to the bottom of the screen and he caught sight of a blank space where her match should have be. He cursed out loud, balling his fists up. “Damn girl!”

Reaching out with her slender hand, Snakes drew the keyboard over to herself and crouched by the desk. Her fingertips moved across the keys like mice. Lines of code darted across the page, a collection of numbers and letters, an explosive thought process. Where the blank space used to be, letters started to appear. An 'A', followed by an 'L' and an 'E'. The words 'Alexander Medlock' wrote themselves across the screen. He threw her a warning glance and his jaw clenched tightly.

“They have never taken kind to hackers, Miss Snakes,” he hissed through a tight lipped smile and she bared her teeth at him with a shrug. The girl had proven to hold her uses over the past years, and Playboy had soon picked up on her tightly nipped figure, sharp demeaning eyes and begged for a dominating woman. Snakes had by far got used to both the boys strange ways.

Within moments, the lights in the room flickered off, one by one. A series of loud clicks sounded across the room. Snakes lifted her eyes from the keyboard to the screen, watching as the letters and numbers she had just written moved across the page to form the shape of a face, flickering in and out of focus on the screen, nothing more then dead black eyes and a gap where the mouth should have been. Souls eyes remained focused steadily on the screen, his brows furrowed with concentration and anger.

“Unauthorised personnel illegally accessing government property. Please hold,” the face instructed, only the lips moving. The robotic character on the screen repeated the message numerous times before the screen faded to a ghostly silence. Soul tilted his head to get a better look at the words on the screen, his eyes posed intriguingly, reading the only words left on his screen: “File deleted.”

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