He put his hands behind him, a recalcitrant child. I slapped him hard across the face. He put his palm to his cheek and I grabbed it, pushed it up behind him and lifted him onto his toes. I had the flat of my palm pressed against the first knuckle of his index finger, bending it into itself. I leaned into his ear and whispered.
“You know what I did during the war, Doc? I was a bombardier. I murdered hundreds of people. Maybe thousands. But that’s not all, Doc. I was shot down. I was a POW.”
I pressed a little harder on his finger. His face broke with beads of sweat.
“And I escaped. Another guy helped me. He was a real sweet number, Doc. A real monster, like you. He loved war. He loved death. I watched him kill dozens of men, some with his bare hands. We both were trained in it, Doc.”
I pressed my lips against his ear, almost like I was kissing him. In the barest whisper, I said “You know what, Doc? He liked killing. He needed it. I didn’t. But the strangest thing happened, Doc. It got so that I didn’t mind it. I got used to it, like a butcher does. It’s just business. So do what I tell you, Doc and I won’t have to hurt you. If you don’t do what I say, I’ll make you hurt and then I’ll kill you. And maybe I’ll go and kill your family, Doc. Maybe I’ll kill your wife and your kids.”
He spluttered, “I’m—I’m divorced.”