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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3. River

Time seemed to fade into the dark grey sky as he waited. Finally as her pale face emerged from the darkness of the school building, Soul was already frozen in place against the cold wall.

At first, she didn't see him. His dark clothes and own pale complexion made him a ghost against the bleak winter background, the only feature which stood out through the thick clouds of fog laid over the ground, were his deep black eyes. Like coal, they ignited a fire, a deep fear, within the hearts and minds of everyone who dared to douse his burning flame.

He watched Pandora as she caught sight of his ink-drowned eyes, and clutched her books to her chest to try keep the warmth trapped. He abandoned his sturdy shelter in the arch of a door to the schools reception. Soul pushed his way through the pelting snow to the frail girl. She gasped at the mere sight of him and her eyes darted about the crowd – of which had begun to steadily gather.

Soul's hands locked around her upper arm and he began to forcefully pull her through the snow. Behind the girl, she left a long path of exposed ground.

“Your father,” Soul mumbled as he glanced across at the girl.

“He'll miss me!” She clawed at his frozen flesh as if she could beat him to the ground with seer willpower. “He'll know I'm gone, he'll be here any moment!”

“Where was he at the ceremony?”

She fell silent and collapsed to the floor, already out of step with him. Pandora's eyes grew dark, darker than he had ever seen them. She sucked in a sharp breath and rubbed at her eyes.

“He...” she let out a breath, “...he was asleep.”

Soul raised an eyebrow at her, and as quickly as the darkness had risen in her, it faded and her mouth froze in a harsh line.

Trees rose around them and sheltered them in a great silver canopy of leaves which glittered in the late afternoon light. Each strand of sunlight remained visible against the fog, it parted its way for him as if it needed to escape the darkness he had carved into the roots of nature itself.

If it wasn't for Pandora's low grumbles, the forest would have been as quiet as it felt cold. Soul squinted to see the shapes of rocks and trees, but the dim light and thick fog was enough for him to regret not bringing a torch.

He felt a sudden tug on his arm and glanced over his shoulder at his companion. Upon her face sat two tears, frozen in place and shone like gems on her snow laced skin. She looked paler than she had before, and the shadows around her eyes were now dark enough to be noticeable. Her arm – in which he had hold of – wasn't only cold, but numb.

“What do you want from me?” a whisper escaped her lips, “if you are concerned about me saying something about the other night... I wouldn't, I swear. No one knows.”

He could hear the fear which lingered in her voice, the fear he could feel up his spine. Something he wanted to play off, like how someone shrugs an insult off, but couldn't.

“Your card. Your ID card.”

Pandora's eyes flew wide, her hand instinctively moved to her coat pocket, where he had watched the card sit for the past quarter-hour. Her lips tightened as her eyes narrowed at him.

“Why, what business could you have with it? I need it, they track me and my actions through it,” she spat at him.

Soul felt his eyes cloud over, his fused sparked to life. The coals behind his eyes glared bright with an unknown anger. His muscles twitched with a certain strength and he had wrapped his fingers around her neck. After he felt the cold tingle from her frozen skin, he bared his teeth at her. Pandora shrunk back against the tree in which he had her pinned.

“What business of mine is no concern of yours,” he hissed at her. She glanced between him and her pocket. She shook her head slightly, her voice was barely a whisper as if not to frighten the monster bared over her. It was ready to kill at the slightest movement and she was terrified.

“I can't... LANA would- she would...”

Soul let his hand drop from her neck and she slid down the tree, her shoulders hunched in fear of the power he had over her. If he was to leave her here, she would die fairly quickly. If he had been standing nearby and had caught a glimpse of her translucent skin and sunken eyes, he would have assumed she was dead.

He was as scared of the power he had, just as she was.

She had power over him, but she didn't use it. The card she possessed in the innards of her coat held more power over him than he hoped anyone ever would. Soul yearned to reach out and take it from her, and he could have done. Once upon a time, he would have done, and he could feel the weight on his shoulders. The weight of himself, what he had moulded himself to be, the choice of a thousand lives he could have lived – and each of them mocked him. They followed him, shadows. A smiling Soul, a Soul once loved but now forgotten.

Sometimes, when he closed his eyes, he could follow his shadows into dreams, watch his life, experience what could have been. But when he woke to the image of himself reflected back into the mirror, all he saw was darkness. Black, sunken eyes, cracked lips, shadows in places where light should have hit.

Soul pulled himself away from the girl, and felt his muscles needed to run. He wanted to run.

The snow kicked up behind him as he battled against the raging tempest, blinded by the darkness which clawed up his back and teared at his hair. The fog filtered into his lungs and he found himself gasping though he wasn't tired. The forest grew around him, leapt out at him from all angles. Growing. Reaching. Clawing.

Then light. He broke through an opening in the shrubbery and collapsed to familiar ground. Sand coursed through his grasp and spilled out into snow. He took his shoes off and was drawn to the familiar feeling between his fingers, between his toes. Like water, the sand mixed with snow slowly trickled down to the base of a lagoon and rolled into the fresh blue water.

He was no longer hidden under the darkness of nature, but illuminated by the vibrant hue of fireflies gathered in the highest point in the cavern that surrounded the lagoon. They hummed around a tree which grew across the roof of the area, rich with glorious fruit where they thrived with life. The tree depicted the sun as the centre of their solar system. They flew happily round it, drawn in by the gravitational pull to survive.

“This is...” he heard a gasp, “... incredible!”

He spun around at the sudden noise. Pandora stood at the edge of the shrubbery, when he saw her, she shrunk back into bushes and stared out between the holes.

“Its still part of this place. You've never been here?” he mumbled under his breath, “I always came here...”

She shook her head slowly and watched him gaze out at the fireflies above them. Soul heard her footsteps in the sand, and turned to see her with her shoes in her hand. She seemed relaxed by the strange warmth which hung around the lagoon.

“You Perfects are becoming less aware as the generations pass.” He risked a glance up at her, she returned his look with a quizzical one of her own and a quick shrug. He sighed. “You don't even know the half.”

Soul watched as pandora stood. She ran her hands across the course walls of the cavern, her eyes lit up with a wild fascination.

“I never asked your name.” She observed, looking briefly in his direction.

“Soul.” A sigh passed his lips.

“Soul, that's it?”

“That's it.”

An eerie silence passed over the two of them, the gentle vibrations of the fireflies being heard as they fed. Soul rolled his tongue across his lip ring and she stared, fascinated by something so trivial.

“What is that?” Her voice raised in pitch, the wonder clear.

“A lip ring? A piercing.”

She gasped. “I have two of those!” She tucked her hair behind her ears and gestured to the small pearls in her ears. He nodded slowly, confused at her excitement.

“I noticed your wrist last time. You don't have a match,” he stated. Almost in an instant, all the excitement in her drifted away. She wrapped her arms around herself and turned away, she tried to hide the look of pain on her face. “What will you do?”

“Nothing. They'll punish me whatever I do.”

His face flooded with anger as he spun to look at her, he frowned and his hands balled up.

“What is it with you Perfects,” he shouts at her, “thinking you need a match to fall in love? Do you even know what love is, Pandora Cross?”

She pressed herself to the wall, surprised by his sudden outburst.

“Deep affection for someone who you match perfectly with.”

Soul's eyes flashed red with anger, and he pulled himself up and out of the cavern, into the snow covered grass. A shock shot up his spine from the cold and he gasped.

“Pandora, is that you, buttercup?”

It was a voice he barely recognised, but was deep enough for him to know it belonged to an older man.

“Father, what are you doing?” Pandora's voice came from within the cavern. A man he easily recognised came out from within the shrubbery the moment he managed to disappear within the woods. Soul felt his face burn with anger as he watched Pandora's father grab her arm and pull her away from the direction he came from. 

 

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