Rewind

A train. A friend. An escape hatch. A choice.

Juliette locks the caravan doors behind her, shutting out the mid-morning sun. She slips off her aviator sunglasses when she notices you’re conscious, and her eyes look brighter than they ever did at school, like she’s become fully alive out here. Maybe that’s how all of the living will seem, now that you’re a ghost.

“Hey Lily.” Juliette sounds gentle, but there’s nothing tentative about it. “I found your body by the cliffs. I didn’t touch it, but I thought your ghost might like somewhere friendly to wake up.” She pauses, and then continues when you don’t break the silence. “Or not. I mean, you’re free to disappear at any time.”

You glance again at the jars and wooden boxes lining the top shelves of the caravan walls. “You’re a ghost killer,” you say.

Some of the colour drains from her cheeks. “Well, my dad is. I help him sometimes. He gets contracts to hunt down the ghosts who can’t function in society anymore, and they can’t be controlled, so yes, we kill them.” She offers a smile that you assume is supposed to be reassuring. “We don’t kill ghosts who are just going about their business, not hurting anyone.”

You lean forward on the caravan bed. “But you could.”

Silence. Apparently this was not the response Juliette was expecting.

Do you trust Juliette?
– Yes
– No
– REWIND


You have selected Rewind.

The air in the train is too hot here, now that you’ve stepped outside of the cooled carriages intended for passengers. It hardly matters, though. This might be the last time you feel any temperature at all.

Your long cotton skirts brush against your legs as you approach the outside door. Through the pill-shaped window the lush mountains in the distance are almost still, but the dirt on the side of the tracks passes by at a break-neck blur. Soon there will be a stretch where there is almost no gap between the track and the sheer cliffs below, where the train borders a fall that no body could survive.

If this body dies now, days before schedule, then you will die on your own terms and in your own clothes, depriving your family of their ritual and the dress they decided your ghost will wear for all eternity. They will take some time to notice you’re missing from the train, and then they will be busy with the festivities, meaning that it may be weeks before the ghosts find you.

You crumple the note in your left hand and grip the metal lever in your right. Opening the door takes less effort than you anticipated. The blustery wind rushes in, cooling your cheeks.

Do you step off the train?
– Yes
– No
– REWIND


You have selected Rewind.

There’s a tiny blue spot on the white tablecloth from your blueberry parfait. You run a glossy fingernail over the blemish.

Juliette sits alone at a table on the other side of the dining car, reading and taking bites from a steak sandwich. Across your own table, Cara and Magdalene are comparing pictures of the necklaces their bodies will die in. It’s currently fashionable to wear a red choker with dripping rubies, like your throat’s been slit, even though their families would never allow that sort of death. They’ll be drinking poison like good girls, so that no bloodstains can taint their ghostly forms.

You try to summon an enthusiastic smile to match theirs. It half works. Having them here should be a comfort, given you’ve seen Cara spill cake onto her bib at her first birthday party and you watched Magdalene toddle in the play pool with floaties on. But they’ve always wanted this: to give up their mortal forms at the appropriate age and marry the ghosts their families selected, securing their social statuses even more solidly, joining hundreds of their dead relatives in the eternal judgement of immortal high society.

You’ve been friends your whole lives. Now that each of your eldest siblings have all had healthy babies, there’s no reason for your families to keep the three of you alive.

Juliette stands and offers you a small smile as she passes on her way out of the car.

Cara finishes sucking up the last of her iced coffee, which had been sloshing slightly with the movement of the train. “Oh, come to my room. I want to play you the new Gwen Libra song they’re going to bury me to. If I move a chair there’s space enough to dance.”

Magdalene rises from her seat.

“I’ll catch up,” you say.

Cara looks at you quizzically. “You sure, Lily?”

You nod, managing to smile. You pull a silver pin from your hair and tuck it into Cara’s blonde locks, making her blush.

Once you’re almost alone in the dining carriage, you allow your face to fall. Just a few days of freedom before you marry Wesley Conthrow, who died over twenty years ago and whose favourite conversation topic is 18th century sports. Just a few days before you never have to sleep again, will never have any privacy, will never have any peace.

Forget death, all you want is some oblivion.

You wander over to the table Juliette was reading at earlier. A note is wedged under her dirty plate. Some scrawled travelling instructions on the back of the receipt for her steak sandwich: she’s getting off at the next stop. Scholarship student. Not important enough to die this weekend.

Do you find Cara and Magdalene?
– Yes
– No


“We don’t kill ghosts who are just going about their business, not hurting anyone.”
You lean forward on the caravan bed. “But you could.”

Do you trust Juliette?
– Yes
– No
– Rewind

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Issue 2.3

Order the physical and epub edition of Issue 2.3, including access to downloadable desktop and phone wallpapers of our beautiful cover art created by the amazingly talented Katerina Belikova (aka Ninja Jo)! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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Issue 2.3

Order the physical and epub edition of Issue 2.3, including access to downloadable desktop and phone wallpapers of our beautiful cover art created by the amazingly talented Katerina Belikova (aka Ninja Jo)! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
$10.00

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Rewind

A train. A friend. An escape hatch. A choice.

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