The Sing Song Girl

Sounds of children laughing.  Adults speaking Chinese.  Cars roaring by outside.  Aromas of classic Chinese dishes.  These vibrant sounds and smells awakened me and aroused my senses, as I lied alone in the dark basement.  Soon there were sounds of piano playing and girls singing.  I recognized the song as “The Wandering Songstress,” a Chinese folk song classic, that made me nostalgic.  I began to sing along but soon found my voice trail off.  Something gave me pause.  Something in the air.  Something familiar, but not in a good way.  My breathing became more labored.  I closed my eyes and took a slow deep breath.  Incense….

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The Yellow House

Mathilde and Laura, both 15 years old, were racing on their bikes down a quaint, treelined suburban street when a soccer ball rolled out into the street, nearly causing Mathilde to fall off her bike. As Mathilde reached for the ball, a diminutive woman in her 50s snatched it without saying a word and hurried back into a yellow house with a lush front yard of evergreen bushes interspersed with a riot of pinks, reds, and whites. A car sat in the driveway.

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The Clarinet

Scott Glickman commuted Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Manhattan to Philadelphia on the Amtrak Acela train to work in his Philadelphia office. The other days of the week, he worked in the Manhattan office closer to home. He was married with two young children. He and his wife, Helen, lived comfortably in the Flatiron District with their two children Daniel, nine, and Abigail, seven. By all accounts, the Glickmans were the ideal image of success: they were the model family and exemplary citizens.

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