There was a great deal of things to be concerned about in the world of Remnant Many people were aware of this fact and yet the world made it a common practice to not worry. Not to fear…. To be calm and collected at all times, for there were…. Things that fed upon a restless soul and causes destruction in its wake. Some children felt deeply in their hearts the creatures were only thought up by the elders in order to keep the younger ones in check. They wondered often if there was was a fake thing meant only to cause worry yet there was something that broke such a theory for many…. It was said that they fed on fear. So upon closer thought it simply did not make sense for them to make up such a thing…. Would it be for their own amusement? Again it was quite hard to tell… This was the a typical thought process for children in this world and then more often than not they would go to the even younger children with a sort of confidence in their walk that made younger ones excited, surely they were going to be one of the older ones with the grace of time.
They permanently remembered those feelings even if their peace filled minds commonly changed subtle moments regardless of the true weather it was always thought of as a sunny day that they learned that the creatures of their bad dreams were nothing more than a farce…. In time of course, for not many of them were the quickest to accept that what they had been told in the past was not very true, or at all for that matter. Many would go to sleep that night with a certain doubt and it would nestle inside of them for a few days until there was a certain realization within them that begged the question of why they wanted a nightmare to be true in the first place. And in the coming months they would develop such a walk as well: one of confidence. It was a cycle; the older ones reassuring the younger to be calm and collected against such weird forms of adult created nonsense. A simple system a village of Forencia had come up with and they were sure was fool proof and for a great long time there was success but one error was made in their self proclaimed fool proof plan… They were denying a truth they merely wished they had made up.
The only problem, reality does not disappear by simply ignoring it. No no… in contrast to those in denial in a further brought on reality. There were those whom went missing, or outwardly died in unnatural ways, their skin often found to be grey and and cracked… like snow but then again, there was something inherently unnatural about even saying it was similar to snow, some felt even giving it credit for the death appearance of snow was a dangerous idea though in the same instance perhaps it was their own paranoia that caused it but maybe not people were never certain. And perhaps that is what Made them jump hoping desperately for a better life.
The miracle that the children never saw the older individuals jump and disappear was a backwards happy thing that many cherished despite continuously watching the populous shrink, often when the young ones did happen to notice, there was an overwhelming wave where they were determined to join those who had left. Which again lead to a further decreasing number, perhaps that was the curse they were forced to bear for their natural starting point to be so close to the end. Eventually they were all faced with the end deciding wether or not to jump in hopes of something better or if they should make an effort to stay in the world they were born into and fight that which they feared.
Ruby was still very young, still wrapping her little mind about the lie the older ones had told her of. In typical action the day, of course, was sunny with rays piercing through the shiny green leaves, the music of her heart pounding in her chest. To her there was officially nothing left to fear, “The nightmare is vanquished!” Was something she found herself saying quite often that day. The world was ahead, and shadows now appeared minuscule. Nature hugged at her, becoming open and free, everything now carried such a lightness to it, even her feet, though she had them covered, felt as though they pressing lightly against air. Her little phrase was something that she found herself repeating quite often. Her speech reach complexing moments in those days and in reality it was quite a bit much farther from the truth. She greeted with that phrase and she would be quite happy to remind everyone once more as she was saying goodbye. Often while moseying next to her sister as she talked to her friends. And they found her to be amusing enough often replying back to excited statement: “Indeed it has,” and then they would; mess with her hair for a few seconds, she would scrunch her face in disapproval but let the moment pass with nothing more than the look ( that they of course were unaware of, by that point attention had shifted back to the one they were directly tied to.)
Quickly she out grew the phrase and like everything else it faded into a pleasant memory, though the days seemed to be more commonly spaced with clouds and the occasional rainfall but of course in Ruby’s eyes the sky water had a sparkle to it and she wept tears of joy because of it. Everything was so very hopeful, yet only as the years moved through time she began to calm about the subject but the energy never left her fully more so it became settled and had no need to constantly burst out for she always knew her feelings.
Many years passed and she often strolled through her home, the trees providing plenty of shade, well not that she cared because there is a chance there never were trees in the first place and they were only something that was reflected in herself, her heart was heavy, her feet crashing down with tremendous weight. The question weighing down on her seemed to be giving the weight. Ruby just kept moving with little reason of why, her blood pushed on through, each beat a reminder that she was indeed alive. This time was very different, this feeling was not a consistent occurrence to be an interruption. Her sister had left earlier as she did often for training to fight something that Ruby was told when younger was not a threat.
Often when she thought of the past her own voice was shrilly recalled, “The nightmare is vanquished!” Only now it was rained upon, it was repeated to herself again and again, each time the drops became more weighted and aggressive, “It was a lie…. “ yet ever heavier, a thunder now roared in her mind, “A dirty one at that.” It was never vanquished to begin with.
She ran faster. Her fists clenched with her nails digging into her palms …. Looking forward to any light ahead. Certainly she was close to the edge, but the question remained what she was planning on doing once there. Then promptly her inner voice responded while she thanked any gods that could have existed that it was her voice that had matured to that point of her life. “You’ll see when you get there.” She moved along. The larger trees melted away and all protection from the sun was pulled away. It was at this moment that she remembered the clouds formed sporadically and even then compared to the further past the rain was non existent, perhaps it was a pull of freedom with her frontal vision no longer being obscured by the thick leaves.
A few minutes blurred by, the weight in her step was getting lighter by the second her shirt was being pressed against her skin with wind developing from her speed. At reflection there was certainly a reason beyond the disappearance of that which bit at her claustrophobia . “Why do they lie to us?” She screamed ahead, at that very moment the edge of the world became visible and again she screamed as loud as she physically could while her throat felt as though knives had rushed over it. There was such a burst of speed that the wind hit her with the strength of a wall. Her feet no longer even grazed the grass beneath her boots, she was like a strongly shot arrow, fast without the certainty of how she was going to stop, two seconds and she was so close to where she wanted, The deathly speed was making her heart race more. The weights of her thoughts were lifted, the clouds dissipated and the sun shone in her face and she covered her silver eyes, slowing to a grinding halt. She could feel her feet come beneath her once more, grazing the tips of each blade of grass. Her heart slowed to a more calm speed, after all she had reached the end of the world or more accurately: hers.
Stray rose petals still flew ahead at the speed previously reached, and she attempted a step forward with her own two feet only in an instant they moved in unnatural ways beneath her torso and she found herself kissing the ground. “I’ve always wanted to see you do that,” Someone said beside her left.
She turned her view, body still spread out, the weight in her feet had become displaced in her arms, legs and neck. Her ribcage pressed against the ground with each exhausted breath, “What are you doing out here?” The boy glanced over at her , his red eyes similar to that as pools of blood slowly spun with strings of gold getting caught around the edge , they were not eyes that she knew carefully enough, she only knew two sets, those being her sister’s (though they rapidly faded with time) and her father’s (again time was not at all kind to her in that regard.)
Fur brushed against her hand, feeling hot and twitchy. Whatever the creature was, it nuzzled its nose against her arm and without too much thought she found the ears that stuck up and rubbed them just as it drew blood from one of her fingers.“You may not want comfort that…” He grabbed at her shoulders and pulled her away. “Here, take this one instead.” She conformed without question and instead drew her attention to the new creature even though she was very careful not allow the blood from her finger to even touch the creature’s sun colored fur. It snuggled closely, “Oh my… he’s really taken a liking to you…”
“And what does he think of you?” Ruby asked, turning herself to be facing the edge of the world. The air was rich with mist. He ignored her inquiry, “Now this one: much less so, “ he carried it close to the end and held it by the skin on the back of its neck, it reached at him with tiny claws, “Nightmares have never tasted your blood before have they?” He looked back at her. And then he made no effort to hide a heartfelt laugh, “What a incredibly dumb question from me to you! Jord Morindal, a humble man and nightmare killer….” He opened up his arms and spread them both out wider, the black creature still firmly in his grasp. It’s eyes pulsing with an uneasy feel. “No no that is a very dull question for our dear Ruby, proclaimer for many, many years that the Nightmares were defeated. And yet today,” he continued as Ruby found her cheeks growing cold with shame. The little creature squirmed and turned its small head toward him and then Ruby as if ever so slowly calculating how it was to escape from grip. “She has made that realization of, wait the Nightmares do exist. And here, sweet heart is the representation of that anger and sadness and….” He paused losing sight of surely a very effective word to get his point across , “Whatever else that may have fed him, damn that is not a very striking close…”
Ruby smiled faintly, the golden creature snuggled even closer to her breast sound asleep, while the other lost the glint of wickedness and became paralyzed, “I can assure you that this one can pose no threat to you while such happiness gleams in your eyes, but just for a matter of safety….” And it dropped at the end and Jord (as she felt a sudden compulsion to at least try to remember the name he claimed) sat back down right next her as if he had never left.
“I remember you in your younger years, though I doubt you can say the same for me.” The rabbit squirmed out of Ruby’s grasps, “I’m sorry…. I’ve really never been much for remembering-“ and it jumped back to the other as if it had been waiting for the correct moment to move. “Really we are talking now, the rest before this doesn’t matter.
He caught it mid hop, he smiled at her and then allowed the creature to snuggle closely, “Then what are you doing here? On the edge of the world.” She stretched her arms out far, the mist from below flooded her nose with the scent of rain though there was not a cloud in sight to follow through with her preconception of what should have been seen while in that very spot. She glanced over at him while the wind brush through his hair. It seemed to very much impossible to remember her grief in the way of how her memories normally were tainted with the effects of her feelings. Now she could only view this moment of time how it literally was with no emotion tied to it.
“I often come here to think. Everything is put into perspective when you can see the end so close your own beginning. Anyone can see this place though many choose not to because the end frightens them. I was always fascinated by that thought process. Everything has an end and yet there are those who think that completely ignoring this place means that it does not exist. Did… did you come here to die?”
Although the initial prospect seemed absurd, the thought grew in her mind, she couldn’t recall exactly what she was hoping to accomplish with running so far away, her mind flooded with many ideas, none of them exactly coherent. “I don’t think so…” Ruby’s hands went cold and a darkness loomed over her, “No… no… that’s odd of you to ask ,” she attempted to only focus on….. what was it again?
“That’s certainly a relief, you have no idea how many people I’ve seen jump over the years,” Ruby’s ears felt curiosity press at her, and he responded, pleased with himself. “Just two if I’m honest, they were probably around your age, originally I would follow them being chased by these…. things… “ He appeared to be quite distant for a moment, the rabbit jumped out of his hands and he immediately pulled it back, he pushed the speed of his speech out further at a greater speed,” which is why I began to just sit here most days pretty soon I was able to hold a sort of counter to what scared them the most.” He ran his fingers through the golden fur, and his skin turned out to almost be reflective.
“Truly I don’t think I can ever understand why people don’t just tell their children the truth from the get go, “ He breathed in a sorry breath, “Because everyone thinks it would be smarter to just wait and tell them the truth when they are older then they panic and jump to the end far too quickly. I just knew that this would ultimately be hard for you so I just ended up waiting out the last few days for you to appear here, and I just went ahead and assumed what would happen to you.
“I don’t think I would have gone ahead and done something like that,” she started quietly and a second time louder. She watched the creature fumble once more…. “I just had to get away from all of it…. My sister was leaving yet again and that was when they found it necessary to bring about the truth and… and people had come to expect me to be the overly positive so I couldn’t bring myself to break such a perception so I ran.”
“Well… you did it congratulations…” The rabbit jumped away from him once more…
“Why does he keep doing that?” She reached out to it as he hopped farther away.
“She’s sick of the constant emotional influx.” Jord mumbled, “I think when you leave she should come back .” He stood with his back to her and then turned again. “You aren’t going to lose any time soon, I can tell that you’re strong. “ She went over to the edge and looked straight down. The mist in fact, seemed to be flowing upwards towards their faces, honestly it was not at all how she imagined such a thing to be. There was a light cloud seemingly under the world puffing out along the seams. As if cotton had been crammed beneath the world but then she had to wonder what was pressing it all out on the other end.
“If the nightmare isn’t vanquished,” she glanced at him, “Then I’ll have to do it myself.” She reached out toward the sun, A great many birds flew toward the light and they became many silhouettes. “I’m going to kill every aspect of them that will ever exist.” Ruby took a deep breath, ”I don’t want to just live in fear of them.” She stood triumphantly for herself.
Jord laughed for a second then managed to pull himself out of his own amusement, “I don’t know what to make of you,” he turned to her, the gold strands still swimming in the blood red iris. “If you were a normal girl such an idea would lead you to jump right here and right now, your only thought would be that possibly whatever is beyond is better than what ever is in this realm. No, you are fascinating… but how serious are you?” He knew it was an odd question, he rolled his eyes. ”Sorry darling, I just had no idea how soon this day would come,” his face began to sting suddenly and he rolled away from the impact of her hand hitting his face
“Don’t ever call me that.” Ruby growled, she shook her hands around to numb the stinging feeling for herself against the breeze. “Sorry,” It was always a habit for her to act that way, doing something then immediately in the course of three additional seconds discovering a potential error in her actions. This was always particularly evident with her interactions with strangers and again his name escaped her. Even then she heard his calm voice one last time for quite awhile, “Just come back when you think you’re ready.”
Upon that her memory of that time faded, she could remember running once more back to her place of origin. Ruby’s return did bring her to change some things that she found herself doing, the biggest of which was an increased effort to look at the eyes of those around her. There were many colors to be seen, greens and blues; purples and oranges, but never again the bloody gold. Even as the years of early teens went by the experience between the two of them was unnaturally hammered into her mind even as others faded with time.
Her sister came and went repeatedly, each year growing in experience and beauty (something that Ruby felt to be ever slightly infuriating, as she seemed to be largely unchanged despite the truth of her features thinning out. Her true figure being chiseled at with time. She developed at the pace of any other even while taking a great deal of time to train herself often times it was through the night when creatures were at their most pronounced… The howling of some nights made her uneasy yet on those times she found it simpler to breath and shove out any outside noise with her own for several hours.
Time went on, she watched young ones learn the truth, some of them never returned from such a discovery and while the curiosity of the man she had met and his realism was always on her mind she pressed through it. Her uncle was the one that housed her. She found herself to be grateful though a little lonesome at times, with the walls being the only thing she could bounce her ideas off of, very literally at times. Her life began to resemble only self imposed training, day in and day out, each one fetching slight improvement.
She started with a single blade and then progressed to two her with movements becoming quicker and more precise. There were those that took notice of her as her skill made her exceptionally good at carving away at trees with little to no thought put in beforehand… she only wished to push herself until it became a reality. On occasion she would vary the speeds, angles and her own stances to further herself, her memory would not paint over the time in any way. It was as reality presented, sometimes sunny sometimes rainy and sometimes she couldn’t be bothered to remember.
For some reasons beyond her direct understanding she found herself to be moving further out into the outer world until she was certain that she was heading to the end. Was a twist of fate or more her own personal calling back to the end or very possibly a new beginning. The name of him, as she had begun calling him as his name now completely faded from her mind. The only thing that ever stuck with her was the bloody eyes with tails of gold.
“I’ll be honest,” a faintly remembered voice said calmly, “when you told me that you were serious about fighting those creatures,” I had my doubts… even when I said I didn’t….” Ruby spun around, her crudely constructed blades slicing at the voice behind, “Dear god!” She was caught by the wrist before being able to cut skin. He was breathing hard,”Is this how you say hi to an old friend?” He let go of her arm and she pulled back.
“You’re real?” Was all she could muster into words and then she sliced at his hands once more ,”I just started assuming I was having some divine intervention. Do you have any idea how bad I wanted to join those who left…. But I just had to keep focused…” Her voice became short and weak. “Not on the wonders that are surely on the other side but on this ,” she waved around the blade, her eyes reflected in seconds where she could see herself in her work, “Not at all the fact that my sister is around so infrequently and my family is always away doing who knows what.” She took a breath, her heart was being dragged down by weights of hopelessness, “Oh my god…” her arms and legs gave away to gravity, and she found herself on the ground with hardly any energy to move, “Have they jumped without me?”
The weather was rapidly getting darker, clouds forming relentlessly and growing into a grey mass. The weight in her movement returned rapidly and it became harder to move forward. “Ruby you really need to be focusing on the better parts right now… “ Despite being told this, her will to move had dwindled drastically, all Jord could find himself doing was silently observing much like as he always did in times past.
Her skin had lost all the tone of life and instead was drained into the snowy grey many had grown to fear. “You’re so close, “ the sun was still shining to him, he still possessed some amount of hope within himself. He picked her up and ran ever closer to the edge. Though perhaps all of his past doubt was washing over him, he did find some amount of irony in the the idea that something he had spent so long merely peering over to what his fate was to be, to jump, to end his time in the world he was part of at the moment, to begin anew in a world where so many had the same dream to find something better and to stop.
Again things were blurring by, the call of the end becoming continuously more intriguing. He was far from sure of the implications, it had never called him like this before. It was again only moments that were felt despite surely running for much longer it only held feeling of about a minute, possibly less, if only it were easier to actually be totally sure, the mind always seemed to have a certain pull toward the place, neither one of them could accurately discover within themselves why they would have such a strong call for that very place. Did it really matter. Ruby found the voice in her head to be saying this quite often, sometimes it was more quiet than other times, it seemed that every third one was louder, they were all equal in shrillness but something made them appear more loud and painful as the words continuously pounded on her ear drum.
She could feel behind her the breath of the creatures hitting the back of her neck, they seemed to be getting less tired as they moved, her thoughts completely overtaking her, the world completely washed out in a semblance of grey. She looked forward in his arms longing to fall. The quick rush, the mist flying into her face were things that sounded so calming while running to the End and with final thought of it’s name leaving her mind she felt her legs tap the edge of the grass, little speckles of soil drifted away and then fell into the water below. The color came back so slightly around the edges, each in the form of different water droplets, her hand gradually reached out, it was calling out, in a sweet voice that was so very delicate to the ears, it was very much like a hush to the spirits behind her, it wasn’t like this before of that she was certain, even with her thoughts being immensely clouded from darker things it made her calm.
Droplets of color hit her face and there were moments when things were clear, the darkness was rapidly pulling away as if it were never being crushed from her perception of the darkness. And then, she fell off into the sea of color, a blur of a rainbow and then the darkness faded into the past, and she moved down far forward into the end… Until that is, her face hit a coldness that was still remarkably soft…. Light returned, Maybe they were right. It was all in her mindset.