Okay, I'm joining in on the song-drabble challenge thing. :D At first I thought there was no way I could do it, because I almost always write in silence. I seriously have a problem writing when there are voices around me, which includes music with vocals.

But then I realized, hey, I can write to instrumentals, can't I?

So the following song-drabbles are from my instrumental playlist. I admit that I cheated a few times, still writing after a song was over, but I had too much fun not to share. They're all pretty innocent, nothing worse than T/PG-13. Some are very angsty, though! Feedback is always appreciated.

Rules: If you get tagged, you have to write a short fic about ten random songs. Put your respective music player on shuffle, and write a story to whatever song comes up. Sounds easy? It should. Except you also have to write the story in the span of the song you are writing about.

Disclaimer: Hey Arnold doesn't belong to me and I make no money from this.

Oh, also, I apologize if I failed at Spanish in #7! Feel free to correct me.


1.) Vorspiel Allegro Moderato - Max Bruch

It was the violin that triggered another memory.

Helga looked around the restaurant, at the other patrons, at the violinist, at the classical art on the wall. Anywhere but Arnold.

"What is it?" Arnold asked. "Do you remember something?"

"No," she lied without hesitation. She couldn't tell him the truth. Couldn't tell him that she had begun to remember things, small things -- smells, feelings, sounds -- going on four weeks now. She couldn't tell him because she knew that the Helga she was now wasn't the Helga he needed. The Helga he used to know.

When she remembered things, all she felt was pain.


2.) The Funeral - Greg Edmunson (Firefly soundtrack)

Black had never been her color.

She could wear black pants sometimes, or maybe black shoes. But wearing all black at once stopped being cool after the Dark Ages. Not only that, this black dress made her look... like the Rhonda she was always secretly afraid of becoming. Dark and distant.

After the funeral, she ducked her father's worried eyes and walked clear across the graveyard to be alone. She knew her black eyeliner was staining her cheeks, but if anyone had to find her like this, she supposed there were worse people than Arnold.

"I'm sorry about your mom," Arnold said.

Even as she cried beside him, his blue hat made her smile.


3.) I Don't Think Now Is the Best Time - Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack)

He let go of the rope and landed on the fringes of the battle.

"HELGA!" he bellowed, even as he slammed his sword against another man's bigger sword. They struggled for a few moments, but Arnold was the quicker fighter and landed a swift kick in the man's stomach, sending him stumbling across deck and into another fight.

"HELGA!" Arnold repeated, searching the ship fervently. She wasn't down here, so he ran up the steps to the quarter deck, boots hitting each wooden stair with a sharp smack.

There lay Helga, long blond hair wet and fanned out around her head. Somewhere on her torso, she was bleeding profusely because blood was everywhere. He knelt down. She was limp and warm in his hands, there was no breath escaping her lips. Her eyes stared up without seeing. Too late. He was too late.

A large shadow moved over him.

"You always want too much," it said. "Haven't you learned anything yet? You knew it would end up like this, football-head. And if you don't start getting ready now, you'll be late!"

Arnold's eyes shot open and he waited for reality to sink in. He realized Helga had been speaking to him from the vanity dresser across the room.

"Did you hear me?" she said. "You'll be late if you don't get up, football-head."

He was out of bed in an instant. She didn't resist when he reached out and pulled her close. Strong beneath his fingers. He inhaled her breath as his own.


4.) The Wings - Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain soundtrack)

Going to Summer Camp was like entering a different reality. Different rules applied here. Something like this never would've happened in the city. The people, the expectations... everything was different.

Even Helga. She was calmer when Arnold wasn't around, Gerald learned. And when he kissed her by the campfire, rather than pushing him away or somehow turning the situation around to her Arnold-obsessed advantage, she just calmly kissed back.


5.) Menuett I and II - Johann Sebastian Bach

Lila had always taken pride in being sophisticated. Not for conceited reasons, no, she just happened to like sophisticated things. Ballets, operas, orchestras, plays -- these things were timeless, surviving centuries in an ever-turning world. Sheena once said Lila must have been a high-class Englishwoman in a past life. It was an appealing idea, Lila had to admit.

As much as she loved sophisticated things, she knew that Arnie wasn't one of them. So why did she care for him ever-so much?

Well, she guessed that was just the way the world turned.


6.) La Campanella - Niccolò Paganini

"Where did you learn to dance like this?" Rhonda asked, genuinely curious.

Curly smiled with both his mouth and eyes. "Right here, just a few moments ago, when I fell even more deeply in love with you."


7.) The Sky Above, The Field Below - Explosions in the Sky

Was it normal for volcanoes so erupt twice in two years? Miles wasn't sure. But whether it was normal or not didn't matter, because it was happening now. He called out for his wife over the mayhem, their team of researchers all shouting in Spanish about evacuating the mountain as quickly as possible.

Suddenly she was next to him, and they hurried to catch up with the rest, who had already reached the clearing and were piling into the two jeeps. Miles could feel the heat of lava behind him, but didn't look back.

"Darse prisa!" men were yelling to them, even as Eduardo yelled "Conducir! Conducir!" and the jeeps took off.

"Wait!" Stella cried out. "Esperar!"

But they were left behind, and there was no elevated temple to escape to this time. Miles and Stella ran for their lives, holding each other's hands and never letting go.


8.) River Tricks Early - Greg Edmonson (Firefly soundtrack)

After saving the neighborhood, they hadn't expected all the special treatment. Free ice cream, free rides at Dinoland, smiles from strangers all the time.

"Boy, I guess we really are heroes, huh Arnold?" Gerald said, grinning around his second ice cream cone.

Arnold was staring across the ice cream parlor at Helga, who sat eating a chocolate cone, surrounded by a bunch of girls from school and laughing.

"Yeah," he answered, not really listening.


9.) Dust Went Flying - Cassino

"I don't know," Nadine said slowly, eyeing the roller coaster in apprehension. "It doesn't look very safe. Or very low to the ground."

"Ooh, come on!" Sheena encouraged in her high voice. "I've been on this one before. It'll be fun, I promise!"

Lots of people thought Nadine was fearless just because she loved bugs, but Nadine had never met anyone as fearless as Sheena, who embraced every adventure with a smile. The excited look on her face made it hard for Nadine to refuse.

Then Sheena took her hand and was about to say more before Nadine interrupted.

"Okay," Nadine quickly agreed, and they took off toward the roller coaster before Sheena could notice the blush that crawled across Nadine's cheeks.


10.) He's a Pirate - Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack)

"I have to do this," Helga said, and by the determined look in her eyes, Arnold knew it was true.

"If you don't come back, I'll come looking for you. You know that," he told her, clutching her hands tight within his own. She kissed him then, with the same determination that she did everything, and next thing he knew, he was watching her ship leave the harbor.

He'd said goodbye to her a dozen times before, but he never stopped worrying that this might be the last.