It was the Chinese New Year. The metal pan was light, shiny, and round. It was about 12 inches across. It was perfect for burning paper. She put the pan on the hardwood floor. She opened a package of paper money. It wasn't real money. "We burn the money for our ancestors," she said. "Then maybe money will come to us this year." She took out some paper bills. She lit them. She dropped them into the pan. She lit more bills and dropped them into the pan. The living room got smoky. Finally she stopped lighting the money. It finished burning in the pan. The pan of ashes cooled. She picked it up. "Oh," she said. He looked at the floor. A dark ring was burned into the wood. "Well, I hope your ancestors send us money this year," he said. "We'll need it to pay for the floor."
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