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     My brothers and I sat, dusty and unused along the mantle and the tops of the shelves. Christmas was months in the past and winter had left soon after and so no one wanted or needed us.  And so we watched, dormant.  We watched as the boy sat on the couch playing a game on his mobile.  We watched as the girl ran to her mother, asking for money behind the father's back.  And we watched the father, bent over his computer, working overtime for a raise.  We sat and listened as the rain poured down outside and the thunder chased the lightning.  Then, in a flash, all the hustle froze.  The lights went dark and everything shut down.  Silence rang for a moment before the clamor and complaining, the shouts of distress and whining began.  The mother calmed everyone down and asked the father to find matches.  Then one by one, she walked around the room and woke me and my brothers up, our faces lighting up and the house glowing warmly with our joyful, dancing flames.  The family sat around and peace and beauty reined.

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