A chirping from the crickets, the toads croaking.
The fire crackling, and the occasional flipping of a page.
Then, a knocking, soft then louder.
I twist the cool metal handle of the mahogany door.
I twirl and push and twist and pull at it, but the handle will not budge.
Returning to the fire, I pull the woolly blanket tight around me.
But still, the knocking continues in the same rhythmic pattern.
The croaking of the frogs cease, and for a moment, the croaking stops.
Alas, it starts once again, in a familiar pattern.
The crickets do the same.
I try again to open the door, twist the wretched handle but it doesn’t move the slightest bit.
I stare deeply at the door itself, the winding patterns in the wood, but they swirl no more.
They are straight and perfect and infinite, like the knocking.
The fire crackling stops and stops with each knock, in harmony with every chirp, knock, and croak.
Knocking, croaking, crackling, chirping, never ending, maddening.
A dagger, shimmering and sharp, just within my reach.
But I’m paralyzed,
By the synchronized,
And never-ending beat.