by Lance Daly
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Christmas Eve in a seedy district on the outskirts of Dublin. Pre-teens Dylan and Kylie are neighbours, each struggling with the unbearable pressures of a dysfunctional family, with no chance of escape. Dylan is beaten by his unemployed father, and Kylie has to endure abuse by her uncle, which her mother refuses to acknowledge. So when yet another row with his father erupts, the young boy decides to run away, with Kylie right behind him. They set off for the capital, looking for Dylan’s brother, who had made his own escape two years before. During the day they wander around the friendly, generous streets of Dublin, trying to forget their troubles and to take courage as they meet up with people who can help them in their quest. But when night falls, the city changes face, and the children are plunged into a dark and murky world full of bogeymen. Come morning, their dreams of a better life have dissolved; Dylan and Kylie set off for home. Yet the kids, swearing eternal friendship with a hint of nascent teen romance, have at least gained something from this rite of passage.