Cathy woke up with fur. Long and shaggy. Fluffy and green. She couldn’t even see until she went into the bathroom and trimmed the hair falling over her eyes.
“Well, damn it.”
Bill took the transformation a lot better than her. “Maybe it’ll fall out in a day or two. I’ve heard it’ll do that sometimes.”
Not all mutations were permanent. For those born with them, mutation was usually along for the ride, but spontaneous mutation sometimes didn’t always take. There’d been a guy three doors down who had a third eye for a week.
“I look like a sheepdog,” she said.
“A cute sheepdog,” Bill said.
Cathy rolled her eyes. “Don’t. I’m not in the mood.”
He squeezed into their tiny bathroom and hugged her. She loved him, but he’d always been the more touchy-feely of the two of them. “Your romantic impulses couldn’t have worst timing.”
“Honey, we both knew this was a risk when we moved to this town.”
She sneezed. God, she hoped she wasn’t allergic to herself. She catalogued the new challenges her life would have now. Shedding. A drastic increase in the cost of haircuts. She’d heard that Summers in Empire could be miserable, what with all the heat generated by the people and machines packed like sardines on top of one another. Fur was only bound to make that more miserable.
“It could be worse,” he said. “You could’ve grown an arm out of your back or a tail.”
“I’d prefer a tail,” she replied.
“Tail might be cute.” Bill kissed her neck.
She playfully elbowed him in the gut. “You’re incorrigible.”
“Guilty as charged.”
He pulled her out of the bathroom and danced with her in their bedroom / kitchen / dining area. She danced with him, even if the space barely allowed a twirl. He kissed her. His hand undid her robe.
She pulled back and held the robe closed. “I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“You’re still you,” he said. “And I love you.”
“I’m a yeti from Mars.”
“You’re beautiful. You’re still the lady a guy like me is lucky to have married. Fur doesn’t change that.”
He put his hand on her neck, slid her robe around her shoulders. She didn’t stop him from dropping it to her feet.
“This is Empire,” he said. “Nobody gives a damn about stuff like this.”
She didn’t care about anybody else. All she cared about was him, and she didn’t see anything different in his eyes.
He leaned in and kissed her. Nothing had changed. Nothing important.
Bill pulled back and coughed. “Sorry,” he said with a smile. “Little hairball there.”
Cathy laughed. How he always managed to do something that should make her mad and get away with it, she didn’t know. But he always did, and she loved him for it.
She called in mutated for work, and they spent the morning in bed.