Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles #1)

and I've always known it, the way I love a song I hear for the first time, even before I know all the words, the way I love my favorite color, and the way that the train would speed past my bedroom when it was very quiet and I'd feel it in my stomach rushing through me. I love you in a way that I've never felt needed to be said.

A strange thing, words. Once they're said, it's hard to imagine they're untrue.

...Do dreams have to be confined to the same place as the dreamer?

Every star has been set in the sky. We mistakenly think they were put there for us.

Forget who you are and what you think is there, and you'll discover things that don't exist to be known.

He gathers me up and I'm weightless before he sets me on the railing. He's the only thing keeping me from falling back, out of the reach of daylight. I'm not afraid of falling. I don't fear the sky beyond the train tracks like I did before. I can go anywhere just so long as it's with him.

He knows that I'm not like the other girls--the normal ones--that a part of me is slipping off this floating city, and he doesn't care. He doesn't care.
Maybe we're both beyond saving.

I become distantly aware of my own grief, and I realize how easily I'm able to force it away.

If you've never been afraid, you haven't had your moment of bravery just yet

I had this feeling like the solution to everything would be down there if only I could dig through all those clouds.

I stare at her collarbone that's framed with lace, the hollow of her throat, her shoulders that rise with each rise with the weight of her next breath. We're fragile things. Our bones show through our skin. What would any god want with us?

The first humans were especially ungrateful. After the birth of the sun and the moon, they asked for stars. After the crops rose from the ground, they asked for beasts to fill the fields. After some time, the god of the ground, weary of their demands, thought it best to destroy them and begin again with humbler beings. So it goes that the god of the sky thought the first humans too clever to waste, and he agreed to keep them in the sky with the promise that they would never again interfere with the ground.
--The History of Internment
, Chapter 1

I wonder if the people of the ground ever feel that their children are too big for their world, too.

I wonder what it’s like for her, looking so much like a dead girl.

Just what I need." Pen throws back the blankets. "Another man in my life. At least this one doesn't speak.

Maybe what frightens us about the edge isn't our fear of morality, but the thoughts it leads us to have.

People die, and everything they've ever said just echoes around and around. There's nothing new. Only the same nonsense from their lives.

So many of the things I've wanted are the things I've been taught to fear.

The madness of youth made me unafraid.

There is no choice for him but to believe. He has nothing left to give in offering.

There's something about imminent death that makes all the threads weave into a picture...

They never exhale, the trees; on a very windy day, they rustle and inhale, and then the leaves and the branches all tremble as though something means to strangle the life from them. The sky watches on. The world is filled with anticipation, as if to wonder if this day will be a great day, or a horrible day, or the last day.

Time was our very first king. We all live our lives to the aggressive ticking of the clock. We don't question that our lives are a grid of seconds; even our pulses oblige. No succeeding king can hope to hold this kind of power.

We accept gods that don't speak to us. We accept gods that would place us in a world filled with injustices and do nothing as we struggle. It's easier than accepting that there's nothing out there at all, and that, in our darkest moments, we are truly alone.

We'll never get you back then," he said. The words were meant to frighten me, but instead they filled me with romantic notions that became a part of my game. I began to imagine being carried on the wind and landing on the ground, seeing for myself what was happening below our city. I could imagine such great and impossible things. Things I didn't have words for.
The madness of youth made me unafraid.

We seem to have much in common with a girl who was killed for her ideas," he says.

Whenever there's something I don't like about a stranger, I try to imagine that someone out there loves them, and it puts them in a different light.

When I was little, my brother drew an image for me on the train ride home from the academy. It was a map of Internment, only instead of the real city, he'd drawn a castle for the clock tower. And the buildings were all different somehow. Mysterious. And right at the edge he drew a ladder that went down and disappeared into the clouds. It was the most spectacular thing I'd ever seen, and getting ready for my bath that night, I discovered it had fallen from a hole on my skirt pocket. I wanted to go out and look for it, but my mother told me the sweepers had already come. The paper would be collected with all the other forgotten-about things and it would be compressed and recycled into something new.
I looked for it the next day, anyway, to no avail. I couldn't believe such a wonderful thing could be destroyed so simply. I learned that it could. Anything could be destroyed.

You aren’t crazy,’ he says. ‘What?’ ‘I’ve known you all your life, and you’ve always tried to hide the parts of yourself that you think are wrong. But nothing is wrong with you.’ Those may be the best words he’s ever said to me.

You can’t be afraid. You can be sad if you like. You can be angry. But it’s the fear that’ll freeze you in place.