“It killed people?” Phoebe protested. “Why can’t you just take it out and lock it up or something?” Her skin crawled. It didn’t even feel like her skin anymore, or skin at all. Just canvas stretched over a hollow core.

“You, well, you weren’t the first person it found on the train. But we don’t want to be hasty and make a mistake. This phenomenon has never happened before,” he averted his gaze from her scowl. “How about this. Tell me what happened to you, and I’ll make you as much food as you want. The more I know, the closer we can get to solving your problem.”

It was an offer Phoebe couldn’t refuse. Her stomach was an empty pit, as though the gash in her chest extended straight into it.

Image: A close-up of bacon cooking in a frying pan. End description.

Cat pulled out a tape recorder and began. He introduced both himself and her, and stated the date before asking her about the attack. From her testimony, he found many things of note. Each turn of her story gave him twice as many questions and he was at the edge of his seat trying to contain them all. But a single question dominated the rest: Her attacker’s identity. When Phoebe finished, it was the first thing out of his mouth.

“Which wildebeest species, black or blue?”

“There are two species?”

“Actually, here.” Cat jumped up and disappeared into a room next to the kitchen.

Image: Cat walks through a door into a dark room. Unlike the other doors in the house, this one is brown rather than white. It is on the wall opposite of the stove and window, and the kitchen can be seen from a different angle. An oven, refrigerator, dish rack, polka-dot mat, and more counter space is visible, along with a second door. End description.



Pineapple watch continues. Also, like Phoebe, I didn't know there were two species of wildebeest until writing this chapter.