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  • We turn onto the gravel drive as darkness falls, the headlights panning the dark and brooding maritime pines.
    'Beloin's Shore-Line Motel' has vacancies and we need a bed for the night.

    We've driven up from Boston leaving Ogunquit, Portland, Rockland and Camden behind us.

    As the fly-screen door clatters shut behind me, I negotiate a gleaming new stainless steel, humming refrigerator, barring my way in the hallway.
    I step into the office/reception and pause a moment while my eyes adjust to the dimly lit space; it seems darker here than outside.
    Yellowing table-lamps illuminate dark-stained wainscoting, heavy gilded framed paintings, oak-wood bureaus, weighed down with framed photos and trinkets, dark sanguine-patterned carpets. Through a half-open door I see dark-wood bookshelves stacked full to the ceiling.
    "Good evening. Welcome to Beloin's.", a sonorous female voice speaks.
    It's then I see her; an older woman sitting behind a bureau stacked with folders and clutter: was she there just now?
    All raven-black hair tied high on her head, but flowing long over her shoulders.
    Lit by a green-glass bureau lamp she gazes at me over the rim of her heavy-framed reading glasses, the light glinting on the silver letter opener she gently turns between her fingers.
    "How can I help you?", she adds.

    Cold fingers run along my spine, while before me I see flashes of a Stephen King thriller about to turn ugly.
    I shake the on-end-standing neck hairs loose and say: "Em. I'd like a room for the night."

    "Well, lucky you, we've got one left, right down on the water's edge. Planning permission doesn't allow to build so close to the sea any more.
    There's a storm moving up from New York, past Boston tonight. Should hit here about midnight, but you should be o.k..
    We've only ever had to evacuate a couple of times in the past. Oh!, of course there was the time a couple of trees came down, people couldn't get their cars out.
    But you should be o.k. Tonight. Do you have a flash light?
    Anyway, should we need to evacuate, you'll be the first to know."

    'I'll take it," I say, giddy with expectation: if not murdered in our bed, we'll be blown out to sea, or flattened by a falling tree.

    We settle in but don't get much sleep. The storm is off land, the surrounding trees absorbing most of the wind, but there is a terrible racket.
    It's pitch black, we can't see a thing, but the sound of the sea is incredible. The sea is booming and breaking and crashing just meters below our our front porch.

    We lie, try to get some shut-eye, and wait for morning to come....
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