"Leila, please come with me!" I begged. My older friend put down her sewing and sighed.
"You are not going to let me be until I come, will you?" I shook my head rapidly, making my jet-black curls bounce furiously. She sighed again. "Really Serena, this is childish; there is no monster in those woods."
"But my brother told me there is! I just want to check."
"Then why not ask him to go with you?"
"Adam is working with papa in the store, and he cannot take time away." Leila sighed once more, and then grabbed her cloak. I grinned and took my own cloak from its hook on the wall.
"The things I do for you. Honestly what would your mother think? What would my mother think?"
"You worry too much, you are not but sixteen! Another year and you will be an adult. Adults never have time for fun." Leila smiled at me.
"You keep me young," she laughed. I returned the smile. She was like an older sister to me. Her beautiful golden locks and brilliant hazel eyes were enough for any man to come courting, but it was her sharp wit and charm that made them fall in love. I used to compare myself to her and wonder if I would ever be as beautiful.
We wandered around the woods with the moonlight as our guide. Leila clung to me when she heard the slightest sound. "Do not worry, if we meet trouble, we will yell. Someone is bound to hear us," I assured her.
"How are you, a girl of only twelve, braver that I, a young woman?" she asked. We continued walking through the deep woods. We had been walking through the thick forest for at least twenty minutes. "Serena, this is useless, we should go home." Then she saw me shivering. "You are going to catch your death of cold," she said, draping her arm around me.
We started walking back, when a large black figure jumped down from the trees in front of us. "What business do you have wandering around these woods at this time of night?" it snarled.
"We were just out for a bit of fresh air," Leila answered, her voice quivering.
"For nearly half of an hour, while the young one is shivering?"
"I am not!" I said hotly. "What are you?"
"I am a shadow, a figment of the imagination, or the wicked bastard child of a stupid whore and the Devil himself."
"Do you have a name?" Leila asked kindly.
"No, I was not given a name. The priests left me in this forest to die when I was still a baby." It looked at the woods around us. "Yet, here I am."
"Would you like a name?" I asked it eagerly.
"I have no need for one." It moved into the moonlight. I held back a gasp. It was taller than Leila by a foot. Its skin was dark-grey, only a shade lighter than his black clothing. Red eyes glared at us, and where a person's eyes should be white, there was a yellow that reminded me of butter. Its ears were pointed instead of rounded. Leila went white with fear. "I see I have frightened you. I suggest you leave."
"Serena, where are you?" a boy yelled. I looked up at Leila, when back to where the creature had been. The beast had disappeared. "Serena!"
"Coming, Adam!" I yelled back. Leila was still white as a sheet.
"He was right; he is the Devil's child. A demon that was sent away out of fear."
"We should tell Reverend Collins," I said. Leila grabbed my arm.
"We mustn't tell a soul about him."
"Why are you calling it a him?"
"Could you not tell by the voice?"
"We must swear never to tell a soul about him," she said. She held out her hand for me to shake. "I took it and we swore.
"Serena, are you all right?" my brother asked as we emerged from the woods.
"Yes, we just went out for a walk."
"Mother said you were gone for an hour."
"We were lost."
"Did you see it?" he asked excitedly.
"Did we see what, Adam?" she asked with fake curiosity.
"The monster! The demon spawn!"
"No, that is nothing but a fable. Your mother would paddle you hard if she heard you telling these tales to your sister." Leila said irritably. She walked away, but looked back at me. Not a word, she mouthed.
"Come. Mother is beginning to worry," Adam said. He was ashamed because he knew Leila was right. We walked home in silence.
In the middle of the night, I was in bed, having trouble sleeping, so I took my cloak and snuck out. The creature was in a tree, singing softly to himself.
"What are you doing here?" he asked when he finished. His red eyes were like daggers.
"I…I…I could not sleep. I wanted to visit you. Knowing that you are here has made more curious about your life."
"I have already told you about my life, child." He sighed. "That is all you should know."
"Do you really not have a name?"
"It is true, I am unnamed."
"Night Singer!" I cried with delight.
"I have given you a name. Night because you are only seen at night and singer because of that beautiful song you just sang." He paused for a moment, then nodded.
"I like it. Thank you, Serena."
"How do you know my name?"
"That boy was calling you earlier."
"Oh, right… I should go back. Goodbye."
"Goodbye, but do not expect to see me again."
"What? But-but, why?"
I am the child of the Devil, and a good Protestant such as you should not be conversing with the likes of me." He shook his head. With a swift movement, he was gone. I looked into the night and whispered.
"Goodbye Night Singer." What he said was true. Leila and I never saw him again. I prayed for him, although I knew he could not be saved. I stand here now, in the place we first met, watching the trees. Even now as an old woman, I still stand and listen for the beautiful song I had once heard. I breathe in the scent of the trees and walk inside where my grandchildren wait.
"Grandmother, why do you stand out there every night?" little Polly asks.
"I wait for the Night Singer, my dear. He is a fallen angel with a beautiful voice," I reply. She climbs into my lap and waits to hear the stories I often tell. I tell her stories of monsters, fairies, dragons, and knights. Tonight she requests another story.
"Grandmother, can you tell me about the Night Singer?" I look at her, an expression of surprise passes over my face.
"Yes, love, I can." I proceed to tell her all about what I had seen those many years ago.