M. Lynx Qualey The 2River View, 9.3 (Spring 2005)
Getting Rid of the Hiccups

Bad relationships. They’re like the hiccups—the longer you let them go, the harder they are to stop. Mary understands those poor souls in the Guinness Book of Records, the ones who’ve been hiccupping for twenty, thirty years. They missed their window. After a year or two, there was no way for them to take a breath.

Karl treads downstairs, scraping a fingernail against his upper teeth. He pauses at the landing and slops his tongue around, then swallows.

Mary focuses on her spinach-flecked spoon. To stop the hiccups, you had to concentrate. You had to close your eyes and imagine that you weren’t hiccupping any more.

She closes her eyes.

A full minute later, she opens them. Karl is sitting across from her, a fingernail working between his two front teeth.

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