For three days, the boy lived in the shed.  The girl cared for him when she wasn't at school.  She could tell that her grandmother was becoming suspicious as to why she was spending so much time out in the garden, so she started trimming and weeding as an excuse.

    And quickly, the boy improved.  He still wouldn't tell her his name or where he had come from, but somehow she was certain that the train had brought him, the freight train that had rattled by the village on the night of the full moon, the night before she had found him in the garden shed.  She didn't ask him, though.

    On the third day, he was recovered enough to walk on his own.

    "I must leave you now," he told her.  "For my safety as much as yours."

    She protested, but he shook his head and kissed her cheek, thanking her for all she had done for him.  She watched him go, watched him climb over the garden wall and into the forest whence he had come.  Just before his form was lost in the trees, he turned back and smiled at her.  Then he was gone.

    In school the following morning, the pupils were to sing a song for the fatherland.  The girl sang the words and the tune, but she did not sing for the fatherland, but for the boy, the boy brought by the train beneath the full moon.

    Quietly, the girl sang a song for the boy.

    A year passed, and the girl was taken from her home to work as a nurse in a military hospital.  She saw boys and men full of holes, boys and men in bits and pieces, boys and men dead and dying for a cause that many of them did not understand.  They died for hate.  They died for love of a country that was no longer their own.  Sometimes, though, she could save them.  But she did not save them for the fatherland.  She saved them because they reminded her of the boy from the garden shed, and she loved them all as much as she had loved him.

    Monsters, she knew, were made and not born.

    This hospital, like her grandmother's home, had its back to a forest, and sometimes she would walk there when she had free time.  She wouldn't venture far in, for this was war, and she did not wish to accidentally walk into the wrong place at the wrong time, but occasionally she would stroll into the trees and sit upon a fallen log within sight of the hospital.

    One morning, the girl was thus occupied when she saw that there was someone else at the fallen log already.

    The boy held his finger up to his mouth.  "No screaming, please."

    He was seated upon the ground, as naked as he was before, leaning against the trunk of the downed tree, his abdomen ripped apart by machine gun fire.

    "You shouldn't be alive right now," she informed him, crouching down beside him and taking his hands in her own.

    "I wouldn't be, if they knew how to kill me.  There must be a shortage of silver in Deutschland."

    She stole bandages and other instruments of healing from the hospital, and she sewed shut his wounds and cared for him once more until he had recovered.  This time, before he left, he kissed her on the lips and held her for a long while.

    "Why must you go?" she asked him, even though she knew the answer.

    "I cannot let you hide me," he replied.  "I'm too dangerous."

    "I'm not afraid of you."

    "It's not only me that you would have to fear.  What if they find out that you're hiding me, concealing a Jew?"

    And so she let him leave again.

The End

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