"That light socket is wired into God. If I stick my finger in that socket, I'll go straight to heaven."
I lay back down. I wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight, I was sure of it.
"What, you don't have the guts?" the socket goaded in a tone that was equal parts drill sergeant and schoolyard bully. "Do it, pansy!"
"Do it," it said again, this time in a motherly voice.
"Don't ya wanna go to heaven?" said the bully.
"Things will be better," said the matron.
"C'mon, slugger," said another voice in a Boston accent that was too slick to be trusted.
Noise, static filled my ears. In it was a multitude of voices -- the chatter of crowded subway platforms and shopping malls, the whispered murmurs in library carrels. All of them came together like cellphone crosstalk, signals crossed in transmission. None made any sense yet all said the same thing. I knew what they wanted.
They wanted me to electrocute myself.