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Under a clear night sky...
He stares into the fire watching its flames curl toward the night sky. He is alone again. Though surrounded by familiar faces he is lost in the lonely depths of his mind. Deep rooted memories prevent him from feeling the presence of others. He thinks about the world in which he has been trapped, and can't help but feel he does not belong. For a brief moment he confuses the heat of the fire with the warmth he once felt from love. The trail of smoke guides his eyes to the stars and he finds himself dreaming of another place.
He dreams of another star, in another galaxy, which hosts another world. A world where time is not frozen in a past filled with regret. The dream is interrupted as a gust of wind shoves a thick cloud of smoke against his face. He stands and quickly turns his head in search of clean air to breath. From the corner of his eye his drum catces his attention. It lies next to him on the ground, warming its skin against the light of the fire.
He is drawn to it, moved by the idea that it might distract him from his worries. He lifts it to his waist and secures it to his shoulders with a soft cloth strap. He knows that if he can find the right rhythm it will carry him away from this place. It has worked before. He slides his hand across the skin feeling the smoothness of its surface. He lifts his hand and strikes the drum once to take in the beauty of its tone. Then he strikes it again, and again. The rhythm flows from his hands so naturally that he need not think at all. He becomes lost in the music, forgetting that he is the one who creates it.
New sounds fill his ears as his beat synchronizes with the sounds of nature. It grows in volume, drowning out the painful noise of his thoughts. He closes his eyes as his hands gracefully dance across the skin. Lost in the rhythm he ascends the boundaries of time. The song becomes so powerful that it returns a smile to his face. The rhythm goes on for what seems like an eternity. With a crisp final note the beat comes to an end, but his smile does not. He is still taking it in. As he opens his eyes he realizes for the first time that he was not alone within the rhythm. A circle of familiar faces surrounds the fire. Each of them, with drums in hand, share the same smile that has returned to his face after being absent for far too long. He stares at the fire and grins as its flames curl toward the night sky.