Good Narrative Principles

It’s Not About the Jade

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The fire is raging out of control. Hot flames lick the parched bristlecone pines and majestic blue spruces up the hill as Lanie races into her split-level home that she’s owned now for a grand total of three weeks. She rips through the moving boxes constituting a landmine in the sunken living room. She can hear her two wolf hounds howling in the back seat of her truck parked in the driveway as she continues her search for that special something that is so critical and vital to her that she’s willing to put her own life as well as those of her dogs in jeopardy. Five boxes to go and she’s still coming up empty-handed. Her gaze is singularly focused on the content of the last remaining boxes. There, cocooned in bubble wrap, is her heart shaped silver jewelry case. In its shiny reflection she sees a dance of orange light. The front door is now engulfed in flames. The dogs have grown quiet. The air is thick with smoke. Dimly, she registers that her jewelry case is burning the tender palm of her hand. Realizing, maybe too late, that it’s not about the pearls from her Mom or the jade earrings given to her by her ex in the first flush of love, she let’s go and runs

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