Cough: Short Fic Friday

She wouldn’t cough. How bad could it be?

She began a deep breath, but it hitched in her throat so she let it out softly. A curling cloud shot out from between her teeth. Floating, suddenly, her neck was heavy but her head was light. In water, warm water, rippling around her outline. The moon was dim, easy to look at. The night was velvet.

She could sense life humming inside of her. She could feel the give and flexibility of her skin. Her eyes were dense marbles; she could feel them moving as she searched the sky. She couldn’t move, or she would sink.

Her friends were saying things, but she didn’t want to hear them. It was peaceful. She wanted to be alone.

Grass, now, she was on a field. It made her bum cold, wet, but it felt nice. It felt like biting into an apple, except all over her skin. She stretched out her legs. It reminded her of delving her hand into a barrel of dried beans at the supermarket. The grass tickled. It was so much sensation she had to slow down or risk getting dizzy.

She ran. She ran, and her lungs kept up with her. She could breathe so easily. Her knees didn’t crack or ache. The wind whistled in her ears. She felt so free, within her own body.

She woke up. A dream, of course a dream. Back, aching. Arms, weak. Bed, lights, too bright to look at. Trapped. She wanted freedom. She got oatmeal, instead. Water. Three more weeks, then freedom again. Maybe more than before.