A frail hand reached up and pulled Carling by the collar of her birthday dress, which was now blackened with smoke. “Carling….”
“Mother, don’t talk. You are too weak.”
A slight shake of the head and a tiny tug on the collar brought Carling closer to her face. “Under the kitchen floor….” A violent series of coughs followed and Carling gasped when she saw blood flowing out of her mother’s mouth.
“Under the kitchen floor…for you….” Saleen’s hand fell to her chest, and then Carling’s mother closed her eyes for the last time.
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