“Hello, Lovely Lady.”
Eva startled and looked around for the source of the unfamiliar voice. It wasn’t Aidaan's. It didn’t belong to Shaddai, either. She stood still on the path, waiting for the voice to speak again. Silence. Not even the twitter of a bird.
“Who are you?” Eva glanced around, trying to see some sign of the one accosting her “What do you want?” She lifted the branches of the nearby shrub and peered underneath. A melodic, silvery laugh echoed through the woods.
“Not there, Lovely One. I’m over here.”
She turned her head still searching for the source of the voice, just as the creature stepped onto the forest path. It was unusual looking, something she had never seen before in the garden. With elegant, long legs and a slender, elongated body it could have been mistaken for some graceful crossbreed dog. If it weren’t for the shimmering material covering its body. She took a step toward it, puzzled by its unusual appearance. Unconsciously, she reached out her hand, curious to know what its covering was. She felt a prickle on the back of her neck, something she had never experienced before. She hesitated, pulling her hand back to her side.
“Never fear, Beautiful Lady, your curiosity is natural. Touch. Examine. Enjoy."
The voice was friendly, soothing, almost melodic, and Eva felt herself relax. She looked more closely. The creature's muzzle was narrow and somewhat pointed, its eyes were large--a warm, liquid brown, with an almost magnetic pull.
"Who are you?" She blurted the question, and in the same instant, knew the answer. "You're He-Who-Will-Not-Sing!"
The creature shook its head sorrowfully. "Oh, my! Such a terrible name for such an innocent creature." It shook its head again. "My name," it said dramatically, "is Sypher, at your pleasure."