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Because they’d lit a fire, dancing shadows of a black hue were being cast onto the orangey reflections of the floor, the walls and a stretch of the ceiling. The fire crackled in the old fireplace of majolica tiles with scenes of rural life and two birds joining beaks in an intertwining of summery branches full of leaves and tiny flowers. It all felt warm and gave off a scent of happiness. They were fools who didn’t know what was happening to themselves. By tacit agreement they closed their eyes and reopened them as a vehicle passing by in the street outside swirled flashes of white light through the cracks in the closed shutters. Subdued noise. Everything felt like orange-flavoured chocolate. Then the friends came, and the music played slowly – a transfer to lyrics and chords of major and minor. The distant city lights glistened, stealing the light of stars.