Bear Friend Story Time

In the Dreams of Goats, part 1

Lois and Jeff Goldblum sat there silently at the small table in the kitchenette. Outside, ijeff goldblumt was just starting to get dark, but Goldblum didn’t get up to turn on the lights. Maybe he didn’t want them to be visible to passers-by looking in through the windows. Maybe he just didn’t care about seeing things. The clock on top of the refrigerator read 7:48.

The actor shifted in his chair. “Do you smoke?” he asked.

“I quit two years ago, but go ahead if you like.”

“Thanks.”

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a nearly empty pack (a brand Lois didn’t recognize) along with a disposable green plastic lighter. He shook out a cigarette, put it in his mouth, and lit up. He did all of this with his left hand alone. His right hand still held the gun, a Barretta semi-automatic pistol fitted with a long silencer. It was no longer pointed directly at Lois’s face, but Goldblum was careful to keep it at the ready. Still, if she made a run for the door right now, while he was distracted with his cigarette—

“I have reflexes like a cat,” he said, apparently reading her mind. “Don’t try anything stupid.” He sat back a bit and exhaled smoke. His eyes, completely impassive, locked back onto her.

Lois took off her glasses, wiped them on her shirt, and put them back on. “So, what are we waiting for, exactly?” she asked, not really expecting much of an answer.

“Someone wants to have a word with you, Ms. Steingarten. I think you know what about.”

“I don’t.”

He took another long drag on his cigarette. “Tonight doesn’t have to be unpleasant for you, you know. If you’re smart, if you drop the act and tell us what we want to know, we can all walk out of here happy and healthy, all good friends.”

“Please, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Goldblum shrugged. “Have it your own way. We’ll get the information one way or another. It doesn’t make any difference to me.” His unblinking eyes drilled directly into hers, until she finally had to look down. Her hands, lying flat on the table, were trembling slightly. She breathed deeply and concentrated all her energy on steadying them.

Jeff Goldblum, Lois knew, was an accomplished actor, but something about his performance in the kitchenette rang false to her. She couldn’t put her finger on it at first, but sitting there silently at the table, waiting for her interview with God-knows-who, Lois at least had plenty of time to think. Eventually she got it. Somewhere behind the soft, impassive voice and the dead eyes, she had caught occasional flashes of tightly controlled anger, even hatred. He had been lying, Lois realized, when he said that her fate didn’t make any difference to him. For reasons that perhaps only he knew, Jeff Goldblum was hoping that Lois’ night would be very unpleasant indeed.

— CW

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