The moment her bow glided across the violin’s strings, she knew she had them.
Time slowed to a viscous pace. Every note, each deliberate and utterly raw, rang of evermore blues and the depleted pale-greens of coastal peat bogs. The Belladonna crooned in response, her patrons shifting, first into awed silence, and then into obeisance, their jaws slack.
Deahnna pulled the bow back and forth in liquid smooth motions, sometimes rapidly, sometimes drawing out the sound. The instrument's timbre soared above all other noise. An otherworldly melody filled the tavern, its richness testimony to years spent traversing the southern shorelines. Her last leave-taking had left scorch marks in her wake, and not for undue reason. The walls of this place both gathered her close and warned her away.
Dozens of eyes, eyes that had followed her from the moment she had entered the tavern to the final pause of silence as she mounted the stage, eyes already dulled from drink, began to glaze over. Every swift stroke felled yet more. They swayed to her tune, thrumming in tandem with her violin, her heartbeat. Once more the naissance of the Spinners and their ilk rang true.
Hers. They were hers.
She'd adjusted this particular web for tonight. Perfected it. Could they feel it? How she Spun it out, unraveling as it flew, to capture them where they stood?
It was so easy.
The spray of sea salt, the waves crashing against the pure, white-gold beaches. A small, temporary sanctuary on the edge of swampland. The reprieve had maintained that fine line her sanity tripped over so frequently. Now she recreated it with exquisite precision, wrapping her muses in a sound barrier so taut they heard nothing but her echo. The ocean roared, pulling them under, faster, tighter. A series of sharp crashes punched through the din as mugs shattered on the tavern floor, fallen from numb fingertips.
Increasing the pressure she placed on the strings, Deahnna let the descant peak, allowing it to spiral, up, up, up.
Now that I'm properly exhausted, time to sleep.