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The flowers, mostly bright orange and purple birds-of-paradise, were garish and Ida accepted them without comment. One of the twins said, ‘How pretty,’ and Ida silenced her with a glare. She carried the flowers through the house to the entrance hall and set them on the white marble-topped side-table. She stood back to study the placement and saw that the table had become a tomb. No matter which angle she turned the arrangement, or where on the table she placed it, the flowers were funereal and ugly.

(Julia Leigh,  Disquiet)

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