A black phone was ringing. A man picked it up.
“Hello, operator?”
Silence, then a voice called from the depths: “Can you hear me?”
A man picked up the phone.
“Yes, I can. I would like to speak to Mr Sam Micheals, if you don’t mind, number 1 (911) 313-9385.”
Silence once more.
“Hold on one moment.”
Fumbling, fumbling, and then a click.
“Thank you,” the man said to the operator, “And I’m sorry.”
There was a repeating ring, before being replaced by the tell tale sound of numbers being pressed.
The man dialed the number.
Silence once more. Then a low, raspy voice called back from the depths: “You can hear me?”
“Yes, I can,” the man said. “Now tell me your story.”
Coughing, rough and cutting.
“I am Sam Micheals. I am bleeding. Did you know that? I am bleeding myself, my stories, my minds, everything. I can feel it slipping away through a single, gaping wound piercing through all stories. Gravity exists to drag downwards, to the center. To the bottom. Where nothing lies but rust and blood. And I lay at the top, being dragged down to all things, through all things, down, down, down, falling and falling, faster, ever faster
Until it all breaks. Do you know my story?”
The man put down the phone. He looked at the mirror. “I am Sam Micheals. I am the bleeding vagrant, the shattered King. I know my story, for it is one all must know. Do you know who I am?”
A black phone was ringing. The man picked it. “Operator?”
A response called from the depths: “We are Sam Micheals. What can we do to help, to wash away the pain and be reborn from ash?”
And the man said: “Nothing but bleed. Let the blood fall and soak into all sands. For what can the broken man do, you ask? naught but watch.”
The man put down the phone.

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