She moved and her shadow shifted like refracted light in her wake; trembling and diaphanous, moving the way partially solidified smoke curls, the way it stretches out sinewy fingers to orbit pockets of air. He knew it was getting late, but watching the way she danced on the edge of the fountain absorbed all of his doubts and dispersed them into the night. Behind him the noise escalated, but he paid his surroundings no further attention as she dipped her bare toes into the glittering water. Beneath the misty glow of the streetlamps she seemed like a creature from another world, something ethereal and impalpable; a dream stepped into his reality, briefly, like a ghost in his peripheral vision. She glanced at him over her shoulder, the corner of her plum lips twisting into her dimple with a mischievous grin.
The spark of freedom left her eyes and, instead of smiling, she yelled. Her words were indiscernible, but it didn’t take him long to realize what had struck such open terror into her features. There was a flash of blinding, startling pain at the base of his neck before he could feel his body crumpling to the pavement.