"Wonderful tonight," Eric Clapton

There were jonquils in the quad of Corpus Christi – the sun was setting, and the young woman (they told him she was Australian) was wearing a beige dress. High Table had been boring, and Curtis found himself wandering over to the almost ghostly figure.

"Good evening," he said, already at ease with the stranger.

She turned and looked at him intelligently. "And to you," she said, smiling a little.

"The stars are beautiful from here," he told, "from here, you can see Cassiopeia in the spring."

She nodded. "I know," she said. He looked at her, and told himself that she was going to be his wife.

And Curtis always got what he wanted – even then.

"Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This)," Sweet Dreams(Are Made Of This), Eurythmics

Helen Curtis stood at the bay window. Her eyes were full of heaviness – the unbearable lightness of being, she mused to herself – if I jump, I will plummet to my death. If I jump, I will fly to freedom. If I jump... deep inside her, she saw a child.

He was small, hair mussed, eyes melancholy. A son, she told herself. If I die, the son inside me will die too. She started tracing her footsteps back to the door. Counting them.

Eleven steps. One more to jump out of reality. Eleven, twelve.

You have your name, little one, she mused to herself as she walked back inside. A pill. Another. The child grew larger in her mind, his traits finer and more visible. A sand dune emerged, and she chose to live.

"Desert Rose," Sting and the Police feat. Cheb Mami

Dunes. Skies, blue and cloudless. Silent winds and swirling sands – a peaceful emptiness in which nothing preached madness.

Helen stood alone on the dunes.

She looked at the new realm which was somehow connecting in her mind, in which she was sinking deeper and deeper, away from New York, carbon gas and glass windows. Away from traffic and modern logic.

An angle popped up, then another. Turrets, and columns seemed to erect themselves through the sands of her mind like a promise. She spun on herself, dancing in the silence.

"Chateau 2," she murmured to herself, and it seemed she had just screamed it. As the words escaped her lips chapped by the heat, the home seemed to animate itself. Walls surrounded the manse and a gate opened with a quiet creak.

She entered it quietly and moved towards the place where she knew a room would await. The bed was plush, all in white linens. She slipped in and for the first time in a long time, fell asleep.

Outside, the world grew, and grew, and grew. Helen slept.

"Jeune et con," Jours Etranges,Saez

11-12 found the jingle of chains oddly comforting. He'd barely just woken up – sleeping in his clothes explained why they were permanently crumpled, his father would have quipped if he'd seen him as he stepped out of the family mansion.

The teen ordered a beer, then another, then another. He was half-drunk when he noticed the older man in the bar. Half-drunk when he mustered the courage to speak to him. Half-drunk when he touched his arm, half-drunk still when he tugged him to the dance floor. Girls were hopping around them, seeking his attention, but all that 11-12 cared about was the deep and intense blue eyes of 909. Young, young, he thought to himself – he is as young as I am, deep inside, beautiful, and I will love him madly.

He was sober when he kissed 909 and soberer yet when, in the small hours of the morning, their kisses took them to his home. 11-12 was still sober when he got home, heavy with a secret and light with love.

"Take This Longing," New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Leonard Cohen

The boy sat at a table. Bottles. How may were there? Too many too count, too many to pick up, and the light was making fuzzy circles around the green glass and the torn labels.

11-12 kept on looking at his hands. Kept on seeing his hands reaching for the knife. Kept on feeling the moment where decisiveness filled him, and he could not resist his impulse. He saw him, still. 909, turning around, his shoulders straight with knowledge, his eyes full of tears.

The knife went down. The blade pierced a lung and 909 made a coughing sound. Spattering blood.

11-12 thought of his father. I did this for you, do you know? His hammer fell heavily on the table and the boy sobbed like a child. Do you know?

"Children Of The Revolution," Moulin Rouge, Bono, Gavin Friday & Maurice Seezer

I am not a number, 6 repeated himself. I am not a number – this... can't be all there is. His hands were grinding against the headboard of his bed. This, he repeated himself, is a prison. I will kill 2 – killing 2, getting rid of him, and that would somehow open a portal to reality.

In the city, Michael woke up and felt dizzy. Dreams – or nightmares – plagued his mind. He stood and took a spray can, unthinking. The words were traced mechanically in the night.

When he woke up, they made only very little sense.

Resign.

"Love Song," 50 First Dates, 311

Her eyes opened slowly. Curtis, in the garbs of 2, looked down at his wife. "You're beautiful," he murmured by way of greeting. She smiled a little, tiredly. "How long?"

"Two weeks," he told her, and there was the shadow of sadness, longing, in his eyes. Too long, he meant to say. "Hungry?"

She nodded, and he placed the tray on the bed. She ate in silence. Sunlight played in her hair gently, and she had one more wrinkle in the corner of her eye. Curtis had more than he could count, but as he looked at his wife, he felt none of them on his wizened face.

"It's good to see you," he murmured, and took her hand to kiss it. Helen smiled, eyes wise to all that she saw in her sleep. "It's good to feel you," she murmured in response. The wind blew in 2's white hair, but she didn't care that he looked like an old trickster – beautiful and strong, she would always see him.

"I Kissed a Boy," Covers, Cobra Starship

In the workshop, the man known in the village as 909 lifted a hammer. It fell down with a clang. "Hey," one of the guys said as he wandered in. "Ready?"

"Yeah," he said, and he went for his shirt. "Think she'll care?"

The other guy smirked. "Think she'll know?"

The man known as 909 shrugged. "Probably not," he drawled as he shrugged the blue jacket over his shoulder. In the corner, the blowtorch was sitting - "So long, beauty," he told his favorite tool as he left the place.

In the bar, there were men kissing men, men kissing women, women kissing women. The man known as 909 looked at them and was horrified with his own desires.

The next day, there were two lines in the paper – another Stone Wall moment, it read. Blood on bricks. The perpetrators were unknown, but hate crimes were on the rise, it read.

As he adjusted the bow-tie before he went to church, the man known as 909 smiled to himself. He was an outstanding citizen.

"Rnwy,"Reanimation, Linkin Park

Nothing made any more sense – 11-12 left Chateau 2, head bent forward, his hands in the pockets of his off-white jacket. His sneakers's laces were untied. He did not care.

He could not make sense of this – memories he knew he did not have, stories that seemed new to him but were told as though they were old, cherished facts. Lies, lies, lies – and in this moment, he hated his father more than he ever had.

He wanted out. Out, out, out. He couldn't stand the endless rows of triangular homes. Couldn't stand the heat, the perpetual suns. Couldn't tolerate the heat and the lack of color. White, white, so much white, and so much sand. Enough to fill the biggest hourglass in the world. Enough for him to keep counting for eternity.

"jimmy gets high," dp,daniel powter

He still saw the pillow. That was all he could see – the pillow and the way her hand twitched. The jukebox kept on playing the same old tune, and 11-12 did not cry. Another sip of beer taken from a dangling hand. Another one, then another. He looked at nothing in particular. Human forms in the bar were all the same to him.

He stayed until closing time and told the manager to let him stay. He stayed until he was so drunk, he did not need courage to do what he felt was necessary.

To wake up. To be free. To wake up, away from here. His fumbling hands touched the rope and prepared the noose with surprising dexterity. To wake up. To be free, away from here.

"The only living boy in New York,"Garden state ,Simon & Garfunkel

Helen walked in the street, hands in her pockets. Her purple sweater was impeccably held close to her waist by a slim black belt. Her slippers were comfortable, her slacks were swooshing elegantly as she wandered around.

She felt heavy – heavy as though all the lightness of existence had been taken away from here, as if she bore on her shoulders the weight of every skyscraper she passed by. What now? She still had in her mind the picture of her son, crying as he freed her. Crying as he killed her. Crying as he did all that he thought was right.

She wiped a tear across her cheek. Who could she tell of her grief?