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Tea was over. No-one spoke. They were enjoying the satisfied silence that follows a really delicious meal. Grandpa shifted, brushing crumbs from his waistcoat. Emma licked jam from her fingers. Paul looked thoughtfully out of the window. The orange street light flickered as bare branches waved in front of it. Dead leaves tapped on the window. The clock struck six.
"Goodness," said Grandpa.
"Light the fire, Grandpa!" demanded Emma.
"Yes, of course, it's getting a bit chilly in here. Do you want to help? There....hold the match at the end...careful....that's a clever girl!"
Emma sat back and admired her flames with pride. After a few minutes she grew restless. "Tell us a story, Grandpa," she chirruped.
"Yes, do," said Paul earnestly.
"All right then." Grandpa stared into the flames. He stared so hard, for such a long time, that Paul thought he had forgotten. Then Grandpa cleared his throat and a voice welled up from somewhere far away.
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