A bald, long-faced grimfosse whisked by the mages, its black eyes glittering. It clutched a violin, playing madly. A smaller one with oodles of frondlike green hair, fiddled beside it. Kailey reached for her magic, concentrating to pull just the right amount, but as she flicked her hand, the creature shifted. Its violin spun away, a steaming scorch mark in the center.
It hurtled toward her, claws outstretched, face contorted with anger. She tried to swim away, but the grimfosse latched onto her hair and scrabbled at her ears. She smacked its vicious hands, earning herself catlike scratches along her fingers and face. If her earplugs came out, she’d be at the mercy of their music. Through the flailing arms of her attacker, she saw more approaching, drawn by the shrill songs of the first pair.
Then, like a trickle of water, so gentle that she almost didn’t notice, music seeped into her mind. She reached to press in the loose plug, but the monster wouldn’t let her. Besides, why would she block out such lovely music? Lulled by the violins, she stopped fighting. She felt a sting on her neck. Another, just lower, as her gills closed. Through blurred vision she saw the other mages isolating a grimfosse. No one noticed she wasn’t breathing. No one knew that her gills no longer worked and her lungs were filling with water. She would drown, enchanted music ringing in her ears.