Day by day the Point got taller and taller. And day by day the shadow got longer and longer.
All around flowers died, grass turned brown and rooms became dark and cold. Old people had to turn on heaters, even in the middle of summer.
‘It’s just so ugly,’ said Doll to Harold as they ate dinner one night. ‘Once I used to look out of the window and see trees and flowers, hear singing birds. Now all
I see is that ugly grey thing. There’re no flowers, no trees, no light, no grass, no birds, nothing.’
‘Oh, it’s not that bad,’ said Harold.
‘Don’t give me that,’ snapped Doll. ‘You don’t have to watch it. Day in and day out. Watch it getting bigger and bigger and bigger.’
Rosie sat at the table and ate her dinner. She thought her mum was being stupid, although she didn’t say so. Instead, she just filled her mouth with a forkful of mashed potato and stared at her plate.
Later, though, while Doll was washing up, Rosie couldn’t help saying, ‘I don’t think it’s ugly.’ ‘Well, you’re as foolish as your father, then.’ ‘I just think it’s . . it’s a gigantic finger pointing up to the sky. Or a tall flower. Or a wonderful steeple –´
‘Listen, young lady,’ interrupted Doll. ‘It’s not a finger and it’s not a flower and it’s not a steeple. It’s just a shadow. Nothing else. It’s just a point of shadow.’
And that was how the Point became known as Shadow Point.
(Philip Ridley. Mercedes Ice. London, Puffin Books. 1996, pp. 18-19)
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