“We must go back and kill them,” the bear said. “We must kill them all.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” she snapped.

“Whoa, there. Don’t take it out on me.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, deflating. “It’s just been a hard day.”

“You tried to put me in the trunk,” the bear said. His glossy plastic eyes stared straight ahead.

“Well, you aren’t in the trunk, are you?” she asked snidely. All her clothes felt tight and her jaw hurt from gritting her teeth.

“I just can’t talk to you when you’re like this,” the bear huffed. “Maybe you’re…”

“Don’t say it,” she growled, cutting through traffic, speeding, jabbing at the dash to try to turn some music on.

“Maybe you’re…”

“Don’t say it!” she said, as a station began blaring Debbie Gibson.

“Getting your…”

She screamed and wrenched the car across four lanes.

“I am not getting my period!” she yelled.

“I’m a bear,” said the bear. “I can smell it.”

“Stop smelling me!”

“I can’t help it!”

“This. This right here is why I was going to put you in the trunk!”

“OK, calm down,” the bear said.

“Don’t tell me to calm down!”

“I just can’t deal with you when you get like this.”

She slowed, downshifted, and shot through a narrowing gap between two trucks.

“I quit my job for you,” she said tightly.

“Because they were closing in, asking questions about me, Why the giant bear in your office? and Why does it smell like that when it rains? Maybe I smell like that because I’m a bear?!? Sometimes humans are so stupid.”

“Yes, we are,” she whispered, savagely wiping away a tear.

“So we have to go back and kill them, right?” the bear asked. “They can’t know about me. What if they talked to someone? What if the government found out?”

“I know, I know.”

“They’d take me apart,” the bear said as the song changed to the slap bass of Duran Duran. “Stuffing and bones, meat and stitching. I’d die.”

“Yes, kill them, yes,” she muttered to herself.

“Then maybe you wouldn’t try to put me in the trunk anymore,” the bear said primly.

She screamed and beat at the steering wheel with her hands.