The Sweet Hereafter
written by Atom Egoyan, from a novel by Russell Banks
Nicole: "There was a rustling, that seemed like a bustling of merry crowds jostling at pitching and hustling. Smatt feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering, little hands clapping and little tongues chattering, and, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering. All the little boys and girls, with rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, and sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, tripping and skipping, ran merrily after the wonderful music with shouting and laughter. When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side, a wondrous portal opened wide, as if a cavern was suddenly hollowed; and the Piper advanced and the children followed. And when all were in to the very last, the door in the mountain-side shut fast. Did I say all? No. One was lame. And could not dance the whole of the way. And in after years, if you would blame his sadness, he was used to say, -- "It's dull in our town since my playmates left. I can't forget that I'm bereft of all the pleasant sights they see, which the Piper also promised me. For he led us, he said, to a joyous land joining the town and just to hand where waters gushed and fruit trees grew and flowers put forth a fairer hue and everything was strange and new."
Nicole: As you see her, two years later, I wonder if you realize something. I wonder if you understand that all of us...Dolores, me, the children who survived...the children who didn't...that we're all citizens of a different town now. A place with its own special rules and its own special laws. A town of people living in the sweet hereafter. Where waters gushed and fruit trees grew and flowers put forth a fairer hue and everything was strange and new. Everything was strange and new.
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