I just finished re-formatting my work from 20 years ago, a project that wore on me both from the tedium and the malaise of reading torturous prose, all of it mine. The worst was in the painfully obvious themes in my first novel, The Sacred Whore, glaring derivative elements from 1984, Do the Right Thing, Dog Day Afternoon and Logan’s Run at every turn. On the upside was one dream sequence, a decent rock amongst gravel, depicting a nightmare I remember well: She sat alone in the clammy interior, amusing herself by pressing and peeling her skin from the plastic seats. Her skin glowed red and she climbed out of the car and stood in what seemed to be an old riverbed. She turned to face the demon of her nightmares. Its black body, swollen and hard, oozed of molten marble. Its nostril slits slapped open and shut in grotesque harmony with its gasps of air. Its massive jaws ravenously clacked open and shut, exposing rows of green-caked teeth and its purple, veiny tongue slopping from side to side. Amazingly, its cement-slab feet, each rising and falling alternately in excited agitation, did not sink into the thick mud. Its head leaned back toward the bleeding sky and, for a moment, seemed to have lost consciousness until it launched itself, jaws first, into her chest.