written by Heli Tamminen
Iris (12) lives in a tiny village on an island between two countries. It is the year 2066, yet you couldn't tell: the life of the few island folk is led by the ways of yore. Due to the energy crisis the industrial world, as we know it, has collapsed, forcing people to return to subsistence economy. Data communications are compromised due to lack of energy and political crises. The adjacent countries are facing gory combats, and crowds of asylum seekers are constantly on the move. Iris' parents are involved with helping the refugees, and in the process lose their sight over Iris. She spends most of her days alone, playing in the woods and the shores of the rugged island.
Things change when another kid, Mikael (12) appears. He moves to the parsonage with his father. Grieving the passing of his wife the priest seems incapable to take care of his son. There is no room for Mikael's feelings, not even the sorrow - nothing must remind him of his wife. Mikael tries to get his attention by pranks and gags, often abashing the priest in front of the congregation. As a punishment father refuses to acknowledge him in any way. The indifferent treatment makes Mikael feel invisible; he concludes father somehow blames him for his mother's death, and fears he'll never love him again.
Iris' greatest fear is losing her beloved father altogether: every night he goes out to the sea on his small boat, smuggling refugees to the island. Iris fears that one night her father is caught and will not return. She uses every trick she knows to keep him safe. But a child can only do so much. The two forgotten children become friends and hide away from their troubles to a railyard of an abandoned mine. The area is filled with refugees, hiding in the woods and the mine. Somehow the children find comfort in the midst of this strange group of adults.
They play in an old train car, travelling all around the known and the unknown. While playing, Mikael introduces Iris with his faith, the sacraments and the concept of prayer. Raised by atheist parents Iris is fascinated, especially by the potential of prayer: she now reckons she has found a way to keep her father safe. She immediately decides to devout herself to God and pray for her father. Mikael agrees to help his clueless friend to perform the prayer correctly, but on a power trip ends up tricking her, resulting the prayer to fail.
Iris is outraged by her mischievous friend. Having now learned the rules, she decides to pray for a punishment for Mikael instead! The next day Iris is horrified to learn the outcome of her prayer: Mikael's father is found dead, tangled on a fishnet on the stormy sea. With heavy guilt pressing her Iris tries to redeem herself with the help of her orphan friend. Grief-stricken, Mikael comes up with a cruel plot, Ten Commandments of his own making - and presents them to Iris as means for seeking forgiveness.
As the quest proceeds, Iris starts to question the power of prayer. Suspicions over Mikael's part in his father's death alter the quest into a cruel power play. The fantasies turn into nightmares as Mikael's fear of God - and the Devil - spirals out of control. Iris has to try to save her friend by dragging him back to reality. But when you're a child, crossing the border between the known and the unknown is a battle itself.