Burning Flowers (Chapter One, page 2 of 3)


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Clarke sat down on the floor in front of one of the boxes and began unpacking it, hoping that it might make her mother happy to see her helping out. The box was mostly jewelry and odds and ends her mother kept on her nightstand. Clarke carefully put everything away where she knew her mother had kept them at the apartment. She knew her mother was going to be so surprised and pleased when she saw Clarke had put away all her things.

Then, at the bottom of the box, Clarke found a gold picture frame with an old photo in it. She had to blow off the dust to make anything out. It was a picture of a couple standing in front of a large ferris wheel, like at a carnival. As Clarke squinted, she realized the woman in the photo was a younger version of her mother. The woman had a smile on her face like Clarke had never seen, and her hair was down to her shoulder instead of in the short boyish cut she kept it in now.

Next to her was a tall, happy-looking man who had his arm around her. He had blonde hair and blue eyes just like Clarke. She instantly knew it must be a picture of her father. She'd always wondered about him, but she'd never had the courage to ask.

She picked up the picture and skipped back into the living room where she found her mother setting up a bookshelf they'd bought from the thrift store. "Mama, mama!" she called in excitement. "Look what I found."

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