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"The Winter Hibiscus" by Mingfung Ho


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rustling
(v) to make a succession of slight, soft sounds, as of parts rubbing gently one on another, as leaves, silks, or papers
mo(u)ldered
(adj) starting to become rotten
vague
(adj unclear
bleak
(adj) cold or cheerless; frigid; unlikely to be favorable; depressing
fretting
(v) to worry about something
savo(u)r
(verb) to enjoy
dilapidated
(adj) fallen into decay or ruin
smelting
(v) catch fish
welfare
(noun) money from the government
epitome
(noun) perfect example or embodiment
passersby
(n) people who pass by
pale
(adj) white, light
obediently
(adverb) doing what one is told
interminable
(adj) unending
imperceptible
(adj) almost impossible to see and notice
ignition
(noun) the electrical part of a vehicle's engine that makes it starts working
curiosity
(noun) the desire to know about something
scowling
(noun) angrily staring
serrated
(adj) having a row of sharp points along the edge
greenhouse
(noun) a building which is used to grow plants
frost
(noun) thin layer of ice on the ground or plants
hibiscus
(noun) a tropical plant with large brightly colored flowers
irretrievable
(adj) impossible to get back
incredulously
(adv) unwilling or unable to believe something
fragments
(noun) pieces
frail
(adj) delicate
pungent
(adj) stinging; sharp in taste or smell; caustic