Coughing by Ryan Benson

Each time he dozed off, her coughing kicked him from his dreams. Every shake hit with such force even his teeth clacked.

Just another annoying reason of many why they wouldn’t work?

Decades back, they separated after trying to make it work for years. Too many childhood insecurities matured into adult neuroses. Thankfully, the state had a term for this bundle of hell: “irreconcilable differences.”

But now those differences faded. Evaporated into—


She would drop the ‘g’ and say, “I’m just coughin’.”


His arms wrapped her, steadied her.

Another ten seconds of forgotten bliss until the next fit.


Ryan Benson resides outside Atlanta, GA with his wife and kids. He keeps himself busy writing speculative short fiction and a novel. The Sirens Call Publishing, Trembling with Fear (Horror Tree), Dark Moments (Black Hare Press), 101 Words, and the anthology A Discovery of Writers have published Ryan’s work. Find him on Twitter @RyanWBenson and Instagram ryanbensonauthor.