Image: Scene break ornament. End Description.

Ten years ago, Phoebe Ashcroft died for the first time. Two months ago, she died for the second.

This evening, she boarded the 8 p.m. train to Grand Shore.

Image: Phoebe, the woman from the cover, walks through a train car. She is sporting a pink backpack. On either side of her is a cabin, and the interior of the train is a mix of pale reds, greys, and blacks. Her hands are resting in front of her and she is looking to the right. End description.

The thing about death is, humans aren’t meant to understand what it feels like. When Phoebe woke up in a hospital bed only eight weeks ago, she didn’t remember dying; she didn’t know if she’d really died at all. The doctors told her that it had been a miracle. To Phoebe it had all been some strange dream.

Phoebe Ashcroft was a young woman of 20, with the aspect of a melanistic deer. Her shoulders were adorned with a cervine form and her bright golden eyes seemed to glow against the dark fur surrounding them. A pair of oval ears drooped slightly as she made her way down the narrow aisle.

Image: Phoebe is visible from the shoulders-up, and has a solemn expression. End description.