A Short Story - You Don't Say

April 13, 2021

Emily continued without hardly breathing until Mason finally just jumped in and interrupted her, "Hey, hey, hey! Emmy, sweetie, slow down. I know you're excited about the prospects of working in Australia, but jeez, try to breath once in a while."

"Oh, Mason, I don't talk that much," protested Emily, "do I?"

"Yes, you do, sweetie," continued Mason. "When you talk to your mother on the phone you go on and on for an hour or more and I never hear you give her a chance to say anything. And, when you talk to Mia, my god! girl, what she must think of you!"

"Oh, come on, now, I'm not that bad," said Emily with a little uncertainty in her voice.

"Well, let me put it this way, it's a good thing you don't get punished for saying too many words per day or you'd be getting punished every day," laughed Mason.

"Ha ha, very funny. Well, then again, is the punishment you spanking me?" Emily rolled across Mason's lap and feigned like a little girl getting spanked for being naughty. And Mason obliged her.

"Ow! Honey, that hurt!" complained Emily, but also laughing at him for actually spanking her.

"You asked for it, babe," said Mason, "now, let's go to bed, it's getting late and I have to leave earlier than usual tomorrow."

"Oh, yeah," said Emily as she got up off his lap, "I forgot about that."

Emily took Mason's hand in hers and they walked to the bedroom, got themselves ready for bed, then just as they were getting into bed Mason grabbed her, threw her over his lap, and playfully spanked her again. Emily didn't let him go to sleep for a while after that.

That night there was a full moon shining in through the open window along with a soft breeze and the sounds of crickets. It was a beautiful night and they took advantage of it.

Mason was up and out of the house early, before Emily had to get up. When she was finally up and out of bed she felt something was different, something wasn't quite right this morning, but she couldn't decide what was different so she forgot about that and went on to fixing breakfast. Then her phone rang, it was her mother. Emily didn't turn on the morning news like she always did.

"Hi Mom, you're calling awfully early, what's up?" asked Emily.

"Oh, you have to hear the latest about Jen and David!" her mother started into the latest gossip and Emily got on a roll as well. The two continued talking and gossiping, as Emily got into her car, drove to her office, walked through the building and finally sat down at her desk. She only finished talking to her mother when her boss stopped at her desk.

Later, at lunch, Emily met with her friends Evelyn and Amy and they spent the entire lunch hour gossiping about the offices where they all worked.

At work Emily's coworkers were all women, so all day the talk about the office was pretty much all nothing more than gossip with a little bit of office concerns mixed in.

As for Mason's day, it was pretty much the same as always - arrive at the office and wait for a job assignment, then go to the address and do the assigned job, usually by himself or with one other guy. Today that one other guy was the one guy all the others wanted to avoid working with because he talks just about as much as a woman. So said all the other guys, anyway.

And all day long it was as Mason expected, nonstop talking and questions and talking, the last thing he wanted to do was all that talking. And he tried to keep his side of the conversations as short as possible, but with this guy that was always a challenge, what with all his "whys" and "hows". At the end of the day Mason wanted nothing more than to get home to his beautiful wife who might actually talk less than this guy did, thought Mason.

"Mason, darling, come here," Emily called from the bathroom, looking in the mirror at her cheek. "What is this? A mole? A freckle? It's new."

"What's new?" asked Mason as he entered the bathroom, wrapped his arms around Emily's little waist, and kissed her on the cheek.

"This, baby, look! Where'd that come from? It wasn't there yesterday, I'm sure. I've never seen it before," said Emily with what Mason thought was too much concern over a freckle.

"Sweetie," he kissed her new freckle, "it's just a freckle, nothing more."

"But why?" she asked.

"I don't know, darling, were you out in the sun today? Maybe it's from being outside in the sunshine. You know that can cause freckles," suggested Mason, kissing her neck and collar bone.

"Oh, sweetie, um, that's really nice, just kiss me right there a little more," she said, "I like that a lot. Oh, uh, no, I wasn't outside in the sun. I just worked in the office all day except for lunch with the girls, and we were inside even then." Mason continued kissing her chest and down a little further. "Oh, Mason, yes, that's good, just keep going in that direction." She turned her back to the mirror and gave her husband her full attention.

The next day at the office Amy visited Emily at her desk and asked, "Hey, Em, look at this, I have a freckle! I've never had a freckle before, my skin has always been perfect, where'd that thing come from?" She was obviously very worried about that freckle.

The two women talked about their new freckles when Evelyn also stopped to talk to them, "Hey guys, what's up? Oh, wow, you have one, too! And you, too, Em! What's going on?"

"You, too?" asked Emily. "I have no idea what's going on but this is really weird."

The women started going around the office and asking the other women about freckles and it turned out every one of them had a new freckle on their faces. And not a one had any explanation as to why.

At the job site the men were starting to talk about some new hair growing in their ears, but not just in their ears, it was growing out of their ears.

"Where'd it come from?" asked one.

"I have no idea, but what's even worse, I couldn't cut it out. It's like some kind of super hair, nothing I have would cut the damn thing." said another.

"Yeah, me, too," said Mason, "I just noticed mine this morning. Do all you guys have one?"

They all said yes or shook their heads in confirmation.

On his way home from that evening Mason was listening to the news on the radio when he heard the news host talking about the same subject. It seems this was happening all over the world and there was no explanation of why. It was just one new superhair on each man, but not every man in the world. The experts were trying to figure out who got them and who didn't but hadn't found the answer yet, but it was still only the first day.

At home Emily was watching the news on TV when the host started talking about the odd freckles that were appearing on women's faces. And only women's faces, not men's. The newscaster said that men all over the world were getting some kind of superhair in one ear.

Mason walked into the house and Emily immediately hurried to him and wrapped her arms around him, "Baby..." she said at the exact same moment that Mason also said, "Babe..." Then she continued, but first she touched his left ear, found nothing unusual, then nervously touched his right ear, and there it was! The superhair the newsman talked about. "Yes, sweetie," said Mason, "it's there. But why? And why can't it be removed? All the guys at work got one overnight. Nobody can cut the damned things."

"Oh, sweetheart, I don't know," she said, holding him tightly, "On the news they are talking about it, the superhair and the freckle. They're everywhere, babe, the whole world! And nobody knows why."

They watched the news together, had dinner, and continued their evening as always.

The next morning, "Oh my god! Mason sweetie! Come here!" shouted Emily from the bathroom.

Mason came into the bathroom and saw she was looking very closely at her other cheek. There it was, another freckle. He immediately reached for his ears and sure enough, there it was, another superhair. He wrapped his arms around his wife, held her tight, and said, "I love you, Em, no matter what comes of this weird shit."

On the news the talk was all about the freckle and the superhair. The experts were still working on who exactly was getting the things and why. They had yet to come up with any answers. They figured out that some people never developed the new additions while some other people were getting new ones every day. And some people were only occasionally getting the new things.

It hsd taken a couple months but someone came up with an idea that was soon explored more intensely - the more a person spoke the more likely it was that they would get one of the freckles or superhairs.

And in another month they determined wasn't quite so easy. The women who spoke a lot were getting the freckles and the men who spoke very little were getting the superhair. They were finally onto something it seemed.

As the following months passed they styarted to notice that there were patterns - it appeared that women who spoke more than a certain amount of words were getting the freckles, and when they slowed down and spoke less, no new freckle would appear. And for the men it was just the opposit - the men who spoke very little were getting the superhairs.

Within a couple more months of studies the experts discovered that the men would get the superhair when they didn't speak to women at least a certain number of words, and women would get the freckles when they would speak to other women more than a certain number of words.

"It's like," said an expert being interviewd for a news broadcast, "somebody, somewhere, decided to slow down the women who speak to each other too much, and are trying to get men to speak to women more. You know what I mean? It's like someone is trying to teach us that women need to talk to men more and other women less, and men need to talk to women more, period. It's beyond explanation, whatever it may be."

The months continued to pass and many people all over the world had become more than exasperated by the freckles and superhairs and had taken to medical treatments to try to get rid of them. But no matter what a person did, the offending freckle or hair would just return. It seemed there was just no way to get rid of them once they came into existance.

By this time Emily's face was completely covered in freckles, there was hardly any bare skin of it original color left to be seen. And Mason's ears were so full of superhairs he could hardly hear anything. And this had become common all over the world.

People finally began to work out that if they simply changed their conversation habits they would not accumulate freckles or superhairs. In time men started talking to women more and women were gossiping among themselves less, and talking to men more. A side benefit to this was improved relationships. All over the world couples, in particular, were experiencing improved relationships like never before in their lives.

"Hey, baby," said Mason, "You haven't been talking to you mom so much lately, I kind of like that."

"Oh, Mason," said Emily, "I miss talking to my mom so much. And at work, it's so strange! It's almost quiet, all the time. There's so little gossiping nowadays, it's like nobody knows what's happening anymore."

"Well, that can't be so bad, can it?" asked Mason.

"Seriously? Of course it's bad baby. We all need to know who's doing what with whom and where. It's what keeps the office alive!" said Emily.

"Well, where I work, nothing has really changed, in the workplace, anyway. The guys have been talking about their personal lives being better than ever, though," said Mason.

"That's a good thing, right? Of course it is," said Emily. "I wonder if the world will have another baby boom. What do you think?"

Mason replied, "I suppose there's a good chance of that, because of all the improved relationships. I heard that divorces have declined since this all began. That's good."

"Yeah, one of the ladies at work mentioned that this morning," said Emily. "I just wish all these freckles and superhairs would go away."

Over the course of the next year of so the world saw big improvements in relationships, lower divorce rates, a baby boom, and finally much happier people in general, all over the world.

And within another year the freckles started to fade away, the superhairs started to fall out. Not all at once, but one at a time. And when a person returned to their old ways of talking too much, or not enough in regards to the men, a new freckle or superhair would appear. But now that the human race has figured out how to control them they can continue to improve their lives and relationships, and the world will be a better place for all.

And they all lived happily ever after.