And there was that pounding in his head again beating in his ears like a snare drum keeping the time for the army as lines of cadets marched in the rain, black leather boots crushing puddles to cobblestone and splashing water up like a miniature tsunami. A tsunami which would rise up and swell from the ocean, grabbing at the buildings and pulling them down greedily. Greedy the way the tax man ripped the poor man's home away, leaving him depressed and alone and beaten. Beaten the way the blond woman curled up on her bathroom floor with bruises on her face and arms was by her husband, the husband she can't leave because of some misguided and self-destructive sense of loyalty. Loyalty rooted in the confusion between love and terror, the loyalty felt by the boy who demands his kidnapper not be punished, and psychiatrists gravely announce has developed Stockholm syndrome, the way he falls asleep in her mother's arms, dreaming of the capital city of Sweden where his grandmother used to live. How his dreams are full of bright lights and sweeping spectacles of city skylines. Lights flicking and shimmering like fireflies in the night, pulsating the way embers do when the fire has died and the only thing left of them, that deep orange glow. Orange like the carrots uprooted by the woman growing a vegetable garden for the very first time, her smile as wide as the horizon beyond her at the sight of it. A horizon hiding a secret at the edge, a secret in a box far away in a dusty old storage cabinet someone's uncle mistook for his late mother's fine china. A music box stored away in a cardboard box labeled "china" with a note slipped into the bottom written by a long dead man to his long dead lover, a gift never received because she'd hanged herself the day he'd meant to give it to her. How his hands had clutched the box so close until it changed hands and then changed hands again and then again and again, each holding on with less care than pervious, until it was locked away in a storage cabinet in someone's uncle's house, beside the box of toy trains his nephew used to be so fond of before he grew up. A nephew who grew up to have his toy trains replaced with a horrible pounding in his head.