Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.
Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.
He’s not going to stop coughing, I realize: those intervals of silence are just tiny islands in the huge ocean of coughing that guy is going to do for as long as he sits across the library table from me, those miserable hoarse choking coughs with a sharp bark and a swallow at the end of each one, the kind of cough that spreads opportunistic germs and no doubt plenty of them having already landed inside my own respiratory system. Nobody is going to deal with this if I don’t, I thought, rummaging in my purse as I stand up, lean over to confront the grim mental picture of microorganisms on the move, looking straight at this guy who just won’t stop coughing, and putting some polite push in my voice: Excuse me! May I offer you a cough drop?
Rasping winter cough
scraping his tired bronchi raw
No one sits near him