I have the following sentence:
[She'd been laughing, then had a sudden panic attack]... Then all at once she hadn’t been able to breathe.
The room had plenty of air — she could feel it sucking in and out of her lungs, thin and stale — but it had been no good. She’d been terrified. Smothering and terrified and still strangling on the tail-end of her breathless laughter in sharp lung-flattening...
This obviously needs some editing, but I'd really like to end it with a word that means "the short, sharp, exhalations of breath from the lungs caused by uncontrollable laughter."
You know, the kind of laughter where you fall out of your chair and start wheezing, "I can't breath!"
There must be such a word, but for the life of me, I can't think of it or coax it out of Google or Thesaurus.com.
A couple good suggestions, but I'm thinking more of the act of involuntary exhale. If you watch people laugh uncontrollably, they eventually they run out of breath, because he heaving of their belly and lungs will press air out with laughter even as they're trying to inhale. I'm trying to capture that sort of involuntary exhalation. I suppose I could go with sharp, lung-flattening exhalations. I just figured there must be a more accurate word =o) Thanks!