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The window panes shuddered and rattled as an interminable squall lashed against the sturdy, shingled brick and stone house. The slanting rain shimmered down in incessant layers, enveloping the verdant landscape in a glassy shroud. Every sane animal and featherhead had retired to their abodes, leaving the countryside eerily still and quiet, barring the whooshing of the wind and the patter of the rain. Not a soul was in sight, though in the murkiness that prevailed hardly anybody could be seen.
Dolores Carrigan tossed and turned in her lumpy bed. It was like a pajama-clothed puppet lying supine was being flipped over from time to time by an unseen entity working the strings. It was hopeless, she decided. She wasn't feeling remotely sleepy. At one point she stopped tossing around and lay still. Brushing her golden brown tresses off her forehead, she stared up at the off-white ceiling fan that kept up its relentless rotations despite being a decade old.
I hate this place, she thought bitterly. Her father's employers- a hardware company- were downsizing the personnel due to fiscal reasons, but the Head Manager, Mr. Stevens, hadn't the heart, or actually the folly, to let go of Mr. Carrigan who was as hard-working as they come. So he had been 'transferred' to the sleepy small town of Valeford which had a branch of the company, and where Mr. Carrigan had joined a week ago as assistant manager. It had been difficult to find a suitable house in the town proper which complied with their needs and also fell within their tight budget. After pulling a couple of strings, they had succeeded in getting hold of this place on the outskirts of the town. But the sprawling lawn and spacious backyard, coupled with some really warm and decent neighbors made up for it.
They had been welcomed into the neighborhood with enthusiasm, her mother being a charming lady had already made some good friends. But Dolores had been disappointed when she found that no one her age lived in the vicinity. To compound her suffering, all those amusements and comforts that a 16 year-old girl like her sought were either missing or did not exist in that "pathetic" town. For shopping and cinema, she had to travel two miles into the town. Being born and brought up in a city for the entirety of her life, it was agonizing for her to find that there were no malls, stylish restaurants or a bowling alley in Valeford. To top it all, the youngsters attending the high school in town where her mother had recently secured admission for her, were so totally uncool. She felt the guys were dorks and the girls were unfashionable hussies. What a dump it was. Oh, I really hate this place, she reiterated in her mind.
Then she fell into a reverie that transported her back to the familiar ambience of her locality in the city- the cacophonous walks in the company of her girl friends, the thrills of the multiplexes, the joys of marathon shopping trips, the long sessions in the bowling alleys in the malls, the rides on the metro. Then there were the all welcoming environs of her high school, where hunky dudes fawned over her lissome and elegant body as she gyrated to groovy hits dressed as a cheerleader; the bantering in the canteen, the swimming lessons and not to forget Damian- the blue-eyed boy of her dreams! She had to leave behind everything. She missed them all so much, even as spikes of longing and frustration pierced her heart.
A curling flash of lightning threw the room into a sharp contrast against the dark shadows. A distant roll of thunder seemed to accentuate the aftermath of the lightning.
|Emma Watson||as Dolores Carrigan|
|Shia LaBeouf||as Kevin|
|Gary Oldman||as Hugo Devilish|