by Jacinta Maree
Welcome to Soulless.
We are the generation that laughs at death.
Reincarnation; what was once considered a gift of immortality has become an eternity of nightmares.
Nadia Richards lives in a world plagued by reincarnation, a system of recycling souls where all past memories, personalities and traumatic events are relived daily in disjointed sequences. Trapped within their own warped realities, not even the richest and most powerful are saved from their own minds unraveling. Madness is the new human nature, and civilizations are crumpling beneath themselves trying to outrun it.
Within a society that ignores death, Nadia appears to be the one exception to the reincarnation trap. Born without any reincarnated memories and with printless eyes, the hot tempered 19 year old quickly becomes the ultimate prize to all those wishing to end the vicious cycle, or for some, to ensure they could evade death forever.
Readers discretion: Adult language, violence and some adult scenes. For mature audiences only.
His top lip curled, as it always did in his half smile. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”
In his hands, he fiddled with the hunting knife. “You.” He twisted the blade and flicked out, clearing the dirt under his nails. “You were going to leave me. You said it was better this way, for the both of us.” The rasp of his accusing voice felt like a guillotine above my neck.
I uncomfortably shuffled back but didn’t speak.
“You were right. Your life without me would be better. Easier. Safer.” Every word strained from his lips as though he was pushing air from the pit of his stomach. My eyes widened and my heart picked up speed. Diesel lightly shook his head. “But this isn’t about making things easier. You’re with me now and you won’t leave no matter how hard it gets.”
“That’s not for you to decide,” I said with a cringe.
“Because if you leave me—”
With an anguished sign, I turned my head away. “Let me guess, you’ll always find me? And if I try to run you will break my legs and chop off my fingers and remove my eyes-”
“No. If you leave me, I will vanish… and I don’t want to vanish, Nadia.”
Surprised, my jaw went slack. Without even blinking, Diesel stilled his fumbling and tightened his stare, looking at me in a way I felt penetrated to my very core.
“You don’t know what it’s like living in this hell. I’m drowning under black water and I can never surface. You remember what it feels like to have your body shut down only to wake up not knowing which reality is real. It would’ve been easier to fade into a drifter, to stop the fight all together and just crumple into the purest of insanities. In my darkest moments I almost allowed it to happen, but then I met you. The girl with no reincarnated memories. The one without a soul imprint. It’s you, and only you, who can save me. But then you came into my room with that story about how everything would be better if we were separated. You left me tied to a bed, and for hours I thought I had lost you. Do you know how that feels? To have everything you’ve ever wanted just walk out? I came to realise just how dangerous you are to me. Just how easily you can break me in half. That’s why I can’t let you leave.”
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Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.
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