She is summoned from a place of fire and ice; a shadow land of white-hot fury and frozen sadness. In the darkness, she hears their anguish and their pain. And she comes to them.
She appears at their window in the dead of night, crouching on a narrow ledge in the cold, tap-tap-tapping on the glass with thin yellow fingers. Tap-tap-tapping to come in.
She smells of lavender. A cloak of midnight feathers hangs loosely from her thin frame, suffocating the floor around her feet. She talks in shallow breaths.
They will learn that she was not so different to them once. Long ago. Consumed by the same rage and the rejection that eats away at the core.
She asks them to make a choice. It is important they have a choice. They stare into her black sockets and glimpse the future; a vision of the what could be. A good husband or father, or doctor or teacher. They will grow and love and lead a good life. Good.
Some, less than you would expect, turn her down. Some, more than you would expect, do not.
She will ask them to make a choice and then she will vanish.
In the morning, they will awake next to a single sharp feather, as black as coal, resting on the pillow at the side of the bed. And they will know the deed has been done.