There was a tapping on the glass. It was faint at first but grew louder with each successive tap. Y’lin looked up from the chair in which she read and saw the Raven in the window.

Tap, tap, tap. The Raven continued.

Y’lin studied the bird for a moment longer. Snow falling and blowing in the gusty wind. Swirls and eddies. Chaos. Did the bird want to escape the storm? Was it seeking refuge in her warmth? Or was beckoning her? Calling out to that too familiar part of her soul? She turned away from it, tried to regain her concentration, but the thought lingered.

Tap, tap, tap. The Raven, more insistent now.

Y’lin ignored it. She did not want, let the cold in. She felt sympathy, perhaps guilt, but she resisted. She redoubled her efforts to concentrate, gripping the book tighter and curling deeper into the chair.

Tap, tap. Two long and deliberate taps.

She looked up. The bird was staring at her through the glass. Its onyx eye, hollow yet penetrating, its head slightly cocked. It tapped again. Another sudden demand, almost a command. Her will broke against the bird’s determination. She left her book behind and opened the window. The Raven flew in at once and landed by the door.

Tap. Tap, tap. More incessant tapping. Its beak wrapped against the wooden door making blunt, dull thuds that did not carry.

“What?” Y’lin said, shutting the window.

Tap. Tap.

She strode to the door and opened it. A gust of wind caught it and pulled it from her hand. The storm invaded.

The Raven did not leave. It only looked at her, head cocked upward, Its onyx eye peering at her from the floor. The wind gusted and snow blew in. She reached for the door. 

The bird let out a shrill caw that stopped her mid reach.

“What do you want from me?” Y’lin asked.

The bird made no reply, it only looked at her and then to the open door.

“Go!” Y’lin said.

But still the bird just looked from her to the door.

Y’lin looked too. She turned from the bird and looked out at the blizzard raging. A small drift had already accumulated around her. The relentless wind blowing through her clothes, coating them too with snow. She could feel the wetness as it melted in the fast fleeing warmth.

“You want me to go with you.” Y’lin said, still looking into the whiteout.

The Raven cawed a sympathetic caw and hopped towards the door.

Y’lin also moved closer to the storm, her bare feet leaving footprints in the intruding snow.

The Raven hopped again and then took flight. It flew out the door and Y’lin watched it go. Then, she followed, unconcerned by the storm. Followed into the storm, leaving behind her book, the comfort of the chair, and the warmth of the room. She no longer needed them.

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