Phantom Cough

During my last semester of college I contracted pneumonia. Being that I had to finish school and I needed to find a job I kept going throughout the whole illness.

This led to bronchitis, a horrible dry cough that could incapacitate me, if I let it. I did not.

It’s not that the germs didn’t try. The two worst moments which also sealed my fate, I would not be going to grad school came during and just before my Nature Writing course. The first incident was just before class. I had grabbed a chai from Sweet Sinsations in the Lory Student Center. I say down next the piano in the sunken lounge intent on reading the news paper and relaxing before class.

Then I began to cough.

I couldn’t breath, move or otherwise signal for help. A few girls gathered around me and one hit me on the back. That only lasted about a minute because then they all jumped away screaming as I vomited all over myself. I lost bladder control and continued to cough.

Then it stopped.

Zombified I grabbed my things and walked to the bathroom next to the art gallery. Two girls followed me. I instructed them to notify the janitor. I cleaned my face then walked to the Eddie building 3rd floor where the English department was. I saw these gals daily so they looked pretty shocked. I handed them my assignment for Nature Writing telling them I would not make it to class that dayI’m sure the fact I was covered in vomit tipped them off.. I then drove home to Loveland, undressed and crawled in bed. My instructor called concerned…I don’t remember what I said just that I was still half asleep.

A few days later that same instructor had his wife in the class, whose book we had just finished. I began to cough during her speech. I ran from the room but couldn’t stop coughing for thirty minutes.

Things kind of went down hill from there.

I’ve had coughs before, the worst being the Greeley funk cough. But that was bad.

This morning it happened again. I’ve had a cold, nothing big or even debilitating. The cough is bad though. This time I started coughing while on the phone. I couldn’t breath, nor tell the girl on the other end to shut up for five seconds, since I couldn’t hear her over my coughing and all. I ran to the bathroom and managed to empty my bowls before the convulsions I was going into forced me to quite my job out of sheer horror.


I finally sit back down and take the next call…which happens to be a lunatic who wants us to stop construction on a building so he can have a meeting. Or at least not bang so loudly.


52 Stories
Outline: Dreamfire
If I let myself get hung up on only doing things that had any actual chance of success, I’d never do anything!Elan, Order of the Stick



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