Sarra's uncle and aunt were two of the richest people she'd ever known, and the sweetest. She was a doctor and he was in finance. They owned luxury properties all over the most expensive county in the country. In their older years they decided to build their dream house in the hills. It was immense and yet stylish. Sarra used to say this to people to defend it. Being rich wasn't fashionable at the small liberal arts college she went to. At least, it wasn't fashionable to show off your wealth. The school cost 60,000 bucks a year, so you can imagine how many poor kids went there. Her aunt and uncle did go a bit overboard, putting in a tennis court, two outdoor jacuzzies, and massive extended balconies from which they could look out over the valley. They even had a resort-sized pool with a water slide for the grandchild they hoped would come some day.
It was a hot October. The valley is not typically a windy place, but that night it was. Early in the evening, Sarra's uncle smelled smoke. He checked the house and found nothing. Country neighbors, he thought, burning their leaves. It's wonderful to live in such a beautiful place, he thought, so close to the city, and yet with this complete sense of wilderness. Or if not wilderness, he thought, looking out over his manicured lawn, at least aristocratic country living.