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I sit by the hearth the crackling wood the only sound that marks the night. On my lap a book the sages quote waits to be taken up again. My gaze is drawn to the flames that leap into my thoughts. I rememebr other nights when the smell of burning

wood lay heavy in the room and laughter was mere echo and the ashes cooled slowly while the wind outside

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moaned and the moon slipped across the heavens untouched.

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