SAM. Sam shot up out of bed as if he were a firefighter on call for a fire. It was only six o'clock in the morning, but then Sam usually woke up at five, so this was unusual for him. He stood in the middle of the room for a few minutes, as if to collect his mind, and then opened the door to the hallway. Outside, the birds were silent, all except for a single crow which made a noise that resembled it's own name. Why is it that some birds seem to be named after the sounds that they make?, Sam thought, as he walked down the long hallway to the bathroom, being sure to avoid the squeaky floor boards on the way. Sam had memorized which floor boards squeaked, and which did not. He always made sure to avoid making too much noise. Sam made the usual morning preparations. First he squeezed a bit of toothpaste onto the brush, but he wouldn't brush his teeth yet. By the time Sam was prepared to actually get to the brushing, the toothpaste would be nice and settled into the bristles, for maximum hold. Sam hated it when the toothpaste fell off of the brush and into the sink. Sam especially hated it when he shaved and the little hairs from his face would fall into the globs of toothpaste, which were sitting in the sink, and get stuck. Sam had done this many times, so he knew by now how to do it without any annoying problems such as this. Sam opened the medicine cabinet and took three bottles of pills. He could not pronounce two of the names of these medications, but he knew one of them was Aspirin. The others, he only knew they were necessary for him to continue being a very healthy man. Sam coughed, then swallowed the pills without any water. Sam couldn't use water, because it was not yet time to turn on the taps. Sam considered changing his routine, to allow him to turn the taps on sooner and swallow some water with the pills, but he decided against that, since he would have to re-work the whole process. No, Sam had spent many hours planning out his morning ritual. He wasn't about to make any changes. After returning the pill bottles to their original locations (and facing the labels in an outward position), Sam closed the medicine cabinet, and began to inspect his face in the mirror. He made note of the gray hairs protruding from his nose, and ears, not to mention the excessive amounts on his head. Sam used to count the gray hairs on his face as part of his morning routine, but he made an executive decision to skip that step once the number grew too high. This was the only time Sam allowed himself to make such a drastic change as to skip an entire step. He still regrets it to this day, but perhaps it was for the best, especially for a day like today, where Sam has gotten out of bed an hour late. Sam coughed twice more, then picked up his toothbrush. He inspected the toothpaste on the end of the brush, and decided it was good and ready to be put in his mouth. He carefully inserted the brush into he gaping mouth, making sure to not top the brush any which way, causing the toothpaste to fall off of the brush. He proceeded to move his arm back and forth, brushing the paste all over the inside of his mouth. He brushed his teeth, front and back, and he brushed his tongue. Sam was making good progress when suddenly, he felt the urge to cough again. Surely this was some sort of a mistake. Sam had never coughed more than three times during his morning preparations. But sure enough, he felt his chest begin to tighten, and his abdomen sink in just a little. The tickle in the back of his through grew stronger, and Sam knew this was trouble. He had already began brushing his teeth. He couldn't stop now. What was he supposed to do now? Sam lowered his shoulders and lengthened his neck, in order to try and sooth the cough into submission. But it was no use, the urge only grew stronger. Sam coughed. He coughed again. Sam not only coughed twice, but five times. That was a total of eight times all morning! The first three were fine though, it was these last five that caused Sam the most trouble. Along with these coughs came a spray of water, toothpaste, and the toothbrush itself. The entire contents of Sam's mouth came rushing out onto the bathroom mirror, into the sink, onto the counter top, and all over the taps. Sam looked at the mess that he had created. This was no ordinary toothpaste in the sink mess. This was as if a volcanic eruption had taken place in Sam's own bathroom. A volcano filled with toothpaste of course. But what could he do. Surely he couldn't start to clean up the mess now. He'd already got up an hour late, and coughed five extra times. That was more than enough change of routine for one day. Sam began to shave. He knew what would happen if he started to shave now. But it had to be done. He took one stroke across the side of his left cheek with the razor, then looked down. A small pile of hair follicles had fallen into the toothpaste which was already starting to harden in the sink. This saddened Sam, but there was nothing he could do. He decided to just get the shaving over with as fast as possible. Unfortunately, by the end of this speed run, Sam was left with a sink full of sticky, hairy, messy toothpaste, and a face full of little pieces of bloody bath-tissue. Now it was time to empty the bladder. If Sam waited much longer to clean the sink, the hair and toothpaste would completely dry and create a very difficult mess to clean up. But emptying the bladder was something that also had to be done. So Sam did just that. A minute passed. Sam was still emptying the bladder. Another minute passed. This was odd. A few more minutes passed, Sam started to get a little worried. Was the urine flow ever going to stop? Sam glanced over at the sink. The toothpaste was starting to harden over. He looked back at the toilet, yellow urine still pouring into the bowl. What was wrong? After about twelve minutes and thirteen seconds of urinating, the flow finally stopped. Now it was time to flush the toilet, and wash the hands. Sam went to grab the taps, then stopped short. They were covered in toothpaste. Surely this would not be a big deal, as he would be washing his hands afterwards anyways. But the thought of grasping a handful of used toothpaste just was not appealing to Sam. So he grabbed a towel from the towel rack, and started to wipe down the sink, the mirror, the taps, and the counter top. He opened the medicine cabinet, and took out some cleaning fluid to spray everything down with, and then grabbed another clean towel, to wipe everything a second time. Sam put everything back, and then proceeded to wash his hands. Then a thought came into Sam's mind. If he had only begun washing his hands now, then that means he had just touched the towels, the medicine cabinet, the cleaning fluid bottle, and god knows what else with his dirty germ infected fingers. This troubled Sam. This troubled Sam so much that he stopped what he was doing completely, and left the bathroom. Sam got into bed. He pulled the covers up over his face. If he could just go to sleep, and then wake up at seven o'clock, then maybe he could convince himself that he had just overslept, and that the entire bathroom incident was just a dream. Sam shot up out of bed as if he were a firefighter on call for a fire. It was only seven o'clock in the morning, but then Sam usually woke up at five, so this was very unusual for him. He stood in the middle of the room for a few minutes, as if to collect his mind, and then opened the door to the hallway. THE END.