He sat straight up in bed, sweating. The bedside clock read 2am. This time he knew he wasn’t dreaming. He heard the sound of drums distinctively, thrumming, the rhythm so out of place yet so familiar to him.
Tossing the covers aside, he hurried to the bedroom door, following the sound. He slipped quietly out the door and down the hall. At the top of the stairs, he paused, wondering why he wasn’t afraid. Surely the sound of tribal drumming coming from your living room at 2 am should frighten a sane person. It should definitely frighten a person who lives alone, who knows he didn’t leave the stereo or television turned on. The logical part of his mind told him that he should be frightened, or at the very least, concerned. And yet.
And yet, he was not frightened, he was not concerned. He was intrigued, he was curious, truth to tell, he was excited!
He had first starting hearing the drums several weeks ago. He heard them at random times throughout the day and night. At first, it was really more a rhythm in his head that he couldn’t quiet place. Like a tune stuck in your head, but he was sure he knew no songs that employed only percussion instruments.
After several days of it being stuck in his head, he started hearing it for real. The first time he had been at work. He left his desk and wandered down the hall trying to find where the sound was coming from, but it always seemed to be coming from the opposite direction he was walking. His coworkers didn’t hear it. Weird, he had thought at the time.
The first time he had heard it in his sleep, he assumed he had dreamed it but this time it hadn’t stopped when he woke up. He was sure he was awake.
He made his way down the stairs and into his living room. Across the room from him was a door that he had never seen before. Streams of mist were trailing out from under it and filling up the room. The drumming sound was definitely coming from behind that door.
He felt no fear or apprehension as he strode across the room to the door. He felt only eagerness to finally find the source of the drumming.
Opening the door he found himself standing at the threshold of a different world; a lush, tropical jungle alive with sounds. He heard birds calling to one another, lions roaring in the distance, and from within the distance tree line, the constant thumping of drums. He stepped unhesitatingly into the jungle.
Coming to the edge of the trees, he could see into a clearing. He saw a circle of drummers with painted faces, dancers in the middle of the circle, twirling and swooping with long cylinders that had smoke coming out of them as they swayed around a crackling fire. One of the drummers glanced up and gestured a greeting to him. It was both a welcome and an invitation.
He glanced back at the doorway to his living room, to the portal to the world that was both his old world and his new one somehow. Instinctively he knew that this jungle was his original home, that this is where he belonged.
He waved his hand and watched the door to his living room close then he turned and stepped into the clearing.
Authors note: Thanks to Little Fears for the prompt.