Helga has a vivid imagination, which is a great boon to a girl isolated on a remote farm on the west coast of Iceland. Her main sources of entertainment are the stories her older brother tells her at bedtime, and her grandmother's tales about an ancient curse which affects the region. Her father is away at sea on his fishing boat a lot, and Helga has plenty of time to while away the hours by constructing a vision of 14th-century Iceland and the source of the curse. When she learns that an oceanographer is coming to visit the region, she imagines how it might be if he came to where they are located, and her fantasies roam through the centuries even into the future. However, she is horrified to discover that, though her capacity to imagine realities is powerful, she cannot affect the present that way.
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