“I woke up one morning and I couldn’t stop talking,” said the young woman. Her words tumbled over each other like kittens. “Not for anything; not for food, not for water, except as I could take it in gulps and swallows, snatched desperately between sentences. In that first year alone I lost thirty pounds, until you could count my ribs as easily as stones in your palm.”
“But you look well enough now,” I said, pen busy with her words, my words on my pad. Her lips were moving soundlessly while she listened to my question.
“Yes, because I’ve learned the secret, do you see?” she said. “I can control it, now, even though I still can’t stop talking.”
“And what’s the secret?” I asked. “I’m sure my readers would be delighted to know.”
She leaned toward me, her lips barely moving, until they brushed my ear and I could hear the words that chattered through them:
My hair stood on end and my teeth chattered. Her lips — I could feel them — curved into a smile, and still she spoke on, and on, without end.