Death is a dream, moving too slow (ten years ago Phoebe barely noticed how her temperature crept up, up.)
Death is a dream, moving too fast (two months ago she had no time to react between her feet leaving the ground and being shattered by the sea.)
This death was a nightmare. It moved in real time, it bled seamlessly into the rest of her day from breakfast to bed.
The light around Phoebe’s body spread through the creature like an infection. This morning she had put on her dress and now it was being torn apart. This evening she'd walked onto the train, and now she had only moments to come to terms with the fact that she might not be walking back off- and the animal in her screamed No, impossible, push away, thrash harder. Escape. But the silver cat would not let her go.
All she could do was wait for pain that did not come as sharp or as fast as she thought it would. Was the Consumption numbing her sense of touch, or the shock? Somewhere far away she felt teeth move through the skin of her shoulder; like a whisper in her ear, she heard the wet crunch of her clavicle breaking as the creature’s jaws yanked tissue away.