I was a petty criminal with a gun, a bumbling assistant and a young girl for a hostage.
We were holed up in a football locker room waiting for the cops to arrive. We hadn't intended to take a hostage, but my accomplice (who I never actually saw) had blown the exit from the convenience store. I had to grab the little Shirley Temple as insurance.
She wouldn't shut up. On and on about how inept we were. She got really personal. She really knew how to hurt a guy.
After a while I wanted the cops to arrive just to give me something else to think about. She was vicious in her taunting. I was cracking up.
"Shut up! Shut up!" I screamed, waving my gun.
She pointed at me and laughed with gusto, head tilted back.
This would not do.
I grabbed a helmet and struck her in the head. I held it by the facemask and brought it across her face hard and then back again. Over and over.
She kept laughing.
The room was getting further away in my peripheral vision. She seemed bigger now. She was changing into a red-skinned demon, complete with horns.
I wasn't a criminal. She wasn't a little girl. She was my tormentor and I was in hell. And this was only the most recent of my trials.