My apartment building cloisters, a flaking shell. Without power for months I inhabited it alone until one evening the forsaken Bakelite telephone chimed. I answered to muteness night after night. 

 I wrenched the cable out the socket. Left the receiver gibbeted and still it rang. I threw the handset from the balcony. On the dawn another appeared atop the bureau next the front door. The dance persisted until I hammered irregular sheets of particle board to every orifice and the outside world became something to memory. 

 One by one I dug the copper wires and trenched their labyrinthian prison through walls and floors by the centimetre. I pooled it in coils in the entrance hall and finally the phone was silent. I smote its ash to the floorboards and savoured the first sound of nothing in days.  

 In the meandering dust from somewhere old and dark came a familiar and unwelcome chime. Peeling away the boards from doors and the windows I was greeted only in mortar and brick.

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