Time Goes On

Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart

 

‘She was 83. She had three more days. They told her that. We had just left the cancer center.’

It was cold. We stood next to the dumpster. I heard squirrels.

‘Yeaaah, She told me one thing. Only one thing during our drive from the cancer center to her home.’

The squirrels rattled on. Uncaring.

I raised my head with understanding. Trying not to look at any one of the squirrels.

‘I remember it like it was yesterday. I tell you. Don’t blink. I know you watch your son all day. I see you with him and how busy you are. But don’t blink. It’ll all be over. Time just goes by and I’m a lot older than you. I look at my hands and I don’t know who’s hands they are.’

He used the word just. Where are the squirrels.

‘My mother said, “It happens so fast.” And that’s all she said. For the entire drive. She knew she was gone. I guess after someone know’s they are gone there’s not much to say.’

‘Time is a funny thing.’ I said, ‘It’s not real. We created it to fit out personalities. When you rock your infant, who has a double ear infection and croup with a fever while he’s screaming for an hour, you pray to God to help him feel less pain. That time is standing still. That time you’ll remember and it’ll never stop. No. Time to me is a funny thing. Light is not straight. You know this.’

The men next to the dumpster laughed.

‘So anyway, Matt, my mother was dying and I was driving her back from the clinic. She had only three days left on this Earth.’

***

-M. Taggart
copyright 2018

 

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Always The Other Room – Short Story

A Short Story
Always The Other Room 
Written by -M. Taggart
Fiction 1/20/2018
Fiction. Can’t stress that enough for when my family/friends read this. FICTION!

 

‘When you do that. I don’t find you attractive.’ she said.

He finished what he was doing. His eyes slid to the floor. Feeling the same way he always felt when she spoke to him that way.

‘It’s just not attractive. You must know that. No one would like listening to that. Go in the other room and blow your nose. Shut the door.’

He caught a glimpse of his face in the mirror. It was an accidental glimpse. The type you wish to never view, but you did and now it’s too late and you can’t give it back. Because life is like that. You can’t give back what you never wanted. You either have it always, or never.

‘Know what I find unattractive? I find you not finding me attractive unattractive and now I’m wondering why we even bother.’ He heard her sit up. She had been laying down on the couch with a blanket up to her chin. ‘So what’s the point of all of this?’ He walked back into the room. Still annoyed by the pathetic look he found in his mirror. Now though, he wore a piercing look and he looked at her with it.

She sat up more, but kept the blanket over her legs. ‘Because I love you.’

‘Yea? What’s love to you?’ he stood waiting.

‘It’s a feeling. I feel it. You know I’m not good at explaining things.’

‘I feel things too. And right now, I feel this is a waste of our time and has been for years. We haven’t had sex in three months. Not because I don’t want to. I guess that’s a feeling you don’t understand. How that makes me feel, that is. How I walk around wondering what’s wrong with me and then I realize it’s me blowing my nose, or the way I sound when I sleep, or any other thing you dislike about my person.’

‘Don’t, let’s not do this. Calm down. You are always so angry. Just calm down and go in another room.’

He felt the need to slide his eyes to the floor again. ‘It’s always the other room with you. If you dislike being near me so much that you constantly ask for my removal, why then are you with me. I can’t list ten things that you enjoy about me. I can’t. I can list ten things you find unattractive about me and something about that is seemingly off. But hey, I’ll just go into the other room for you. That’ll solve everything.’

‘See. You’re so angry. You need to talk to someone. I wish you would. They could help you. Maybe give you tools to be rid of your anger.’ She picked up her phone, turned it on and started to read. Her head no longer focusing direction on him.

He opened the refrigerator door, grabbed a bottle opener, opened a bottle of beer, tossed the bottle opener loudly onto the counter and emptied the beer. He opened the trash, tossed it in, letting the bottle hit loudly and belched.

‘You know I don’t like when you drink beer that fast, honey. It’s not good for you.’ She said from under her blanket while lying down and reading on her phone.

He opened the refrigerator door.

 

Should I Call Her – Short Story

Should I Call Her
Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart

‘You’ve been sitting here for an hour thinking about calling her.’

The sun wouldn’t set for another two hours. He liked sitting on the deck and doing this. Watching. Thinking. Drinking beer. What would be the same if he did call?

‘Honestly. Tell me what you’re doing with this? It’s been three days.’

‘It’s a bit like holding onto sleep when you’ve first woken up. You know you’re awake. You want to get up because you know you should be up, but you don’t get up and instead you do nothing.’ Nick said feeling he’d described it as best as he could, but also feeling like he’d left something out.

‘I think you should. There’s your phone. Pick it up. Call. You said she’s interested. How do you know again?’

‘She told me she was. She walked up to me and told me to call her. She took my phone and put her number in the contacts. Smiled and walked away.’

‘And now it’s been three days and you’ve done nothing. Why? Want to sit on this deck forever and look at the sun go down?’

A Blue Jay was screaming. It had just landed in a bush, down below the deck, and now screamed. He wished he knew if the bird was male or female. He should know the difference, thought he had, but now wasn’t sure.

‘Do you have any more of that whiskey? The Whistle Pig whiskey?’

‘I do. Not sure that I want any. It’s where it always is.’ Nick said without looking at Chad. Chad walked into the apartment and came back with two glasses, ice in a dish, and the Whistle Pig whiskey.

‘You know, Nick, you not knowing if you want this whiskey is much like you not knowing if you want to call her. There’s no point in doing nothing other than wasting time. It’s either you do, or you don’t. Once you’ve made that decision, the rest happens. And, you can’t control it.’

A second Blue Jay landed near the first Blue Jay. They both sat on branches near one another and screamed. The sun had dipped. Chad poured two whiskey drinks, added one ice cube to each, and sat down.

‘I don’t like ice in mine.’ Nick said. He let the ice float. Watched as it diluted the whiskey.

‘Nick, she might not be interested anymore. Think of that? Maybe she’s found another guy to give interesting ideas about being interested. You taking three days to call her isn’t ideal. Not in my opinion. Maybe she doesn’t want to hear from you now. Better not call.’

The Blue Jays had stopped screaming. They sat and looked at whatever it is that Blue Jays look at. The sun had dipped slightly more.

‘Maybe she isn’t. Maybe I don’t care. Maybe this deck and this view are all I need.’ Nick knew what he said wasn’t true. He felt his lie inside him.

‘That’s fine. Let’s not talk about it more. Did you see the game last night? The Celtics picked up a good one. He’s 6ft 8 with a wing span of a 7 footer. I think he’s an MVP in the making.’

‘Yea. I guess.’ Nick picked up the whiskey drink. Watched as the ice cube floated to the back of the glass as he tipped it. He sipped the diluted drink. ‘Maybe I’ll call her right now.’

‘Good. What’s her name?’ Chad asked.

‘Jenny.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘It’s O.K.’

‘I shouldn’t have asked. I didn’t know.’

‘It’s O.K. I’m fine.’

‘I wish I had known, I wouldn’t have asked.’

The sun had dipped slightly more. Chad refilled the whiskey in his glass. ‘Do you want more?’

‘Yes.’ said Nick. ‘What do you suppose happens to the male Blue Jay if he loses her? Do you know? I thought I knew. But now I don’t remember.’

 

**

thanks for reading

ps, it’s my birthday. i’m thankful to have another with my wife. i didn’t mean to write this. it just happened.

Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Grand Morning – Flash Fiction

A light snow had fallen overnight leaving a half an inch for a small gathering of black-capped chickadees to hustle and frolic in. The small birds seemed to enjoy the season’s first snowfall as they exhibited a style of energy that suggested pure happiness. The morning sun beamed into the fresh snow and gathered itself in a glowing of the land that illuminated the birds as they flitted from snowy ground, to tree branch, back to snow. The birds left tiny marks where they had landed and hopped. From his porch, he whistled to them in their particular bird song. They didn’t call back. Not yet anyway. And that was fine too. He had his morning coffee in hand and this view of life to observe. The coffee, a bit too hot, steamed mightily, adding to the perfection of his morning.

-M. Taggart
copyright 2017
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share.

Flash Fiction – Where’d I put that book..?

I searched for the book I was reading with a feeling of annoyance toward myself for having misplaced it. Found it. Under a pile of useless kiddle. Now that I’ve found it, I no longer want to read it. I stare at the cover with a feeling of annoyance toward myself for having found it. It’s written by a famous author. It’s not good. It doesn’t translate. It’s not relevant. Only the timeless ones can do that. They write content that will give for hundreds of years. Think that’s not possible? One word. Bible.

-M. Taggart

Cheers.

p.s..

Gone Fishing – Flash Fiction

The birds chirped. It was 4:07 AM. He knew his grandfather was up and double checking their fishing gear. Rods, life vests, water, tackle, bait, and extra gas. He could see in his mind his grandfather’s large hands patting each item as he checked them off. He’d wear a slightly grim look, almost worrisome, but when done his face would relax.

The sheets were warm where he lay. He stretched his legs and let one foot breach and enter the morning air. He liked the crisp feeling. It felt as though his foot was detached from his body. He pushed the blankets off. He could smell coffee and bacon. Soon eggs would be frying and they would eat a good breakfast. Then, they would take the drive to the lake, put the boat in the water, and fish until noon.

-M. Taggart

 

Can I Be – Flash Fiction

Can I Be
Flash Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

Can I Be

As seen in the nine years old boy’s diary before his death-

‘I didn’t know I was bad. I felt it once but I made it go away. Jan 14.

I found out I am not bad. I saw bad today. That is not me.  Jan 21.

I had a good day. My uncle took me to a movie. When I came home he told me he was sorry. Feb 6.

I think I’d like not to be here anymore.  Feb 22.

I did what I was told. I don’t know who else to tell. Feb 28.

Today was good. I was told I could go to school again. I want to go to school again. I want to learn and read books. March 3.

My covers aren’t enough.  March 4.’

The boy was found dead March 5. The boys diary contained notes and drawings.

(edited timeline error.)

Don’t Watch Her Cry

A Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart
Copyright 2017

Don’t Watch Her Cry

 

It hurt to watch her cry. She convulsed. Her head shook up and down. I wanted to put my arms around her. She was hating me. Maybe, though she needed it. It was my fault. I didn’t know my words damaged her this badly. Now though, I could see what each of them had done. Her hair was down and I couldn’t see her face. I only saw tears dropping near her feet.

Another me had raised my arms and put them around her shoulders. I fought the mind game I placed on myself. If she hates me, let her rot. Let her rot in Hell. My arms pulled her head to my chest. I could feel my heart beat. I hate my heart beating.

‘Don’t. It’s O.K. I Love you.’

She convulsed and my heart now hated me.

‘I don’t know. I don’t want this. Listen, I love you. You don’t believe me, but, I do. I don’t want what I said. I’m sorry.’

Her neck smelled so nice. Her tears too. My thoughts struggled.

She didn’t push away. I pulled her closer. Maybe it wasn’t over. ‘I just want to have you back.’ her throat full, ‘You use to be so amazing. You were, incredible.’ she had huffed the words through.

I was. I were. I am not. I am nothing. I hate myself. My heart can now stop completely.

My other self rubbed her back and told her I loved her and that it would be O.K.

She stood. Not ripping from me, but leaving me. ‘I don’t know how it can be again.’ tears streamed down her beautiful face, dripping from her chin. ‘But I think it will be.’

 

 

 

 

A Mother Does Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine

Winter blew in. You could feel it with your tongue if you wanted. Old October trees looked desolate.

The wood stove cracked. Have you heard the small mouth speak?

Snow began to fall. A pregnant thought came to me. Was I the one to speak it? My mother was ragged. Her mouth was grim. She was an angry women. Her fingers were cracked and crooked.

It was our fault. All of ours. We pushed her. Her dry knuckles bleed. We didn’t ask if she needed help. We watched her push and bleed. Her tongue flicked as she watched us leave the house and we’d run as soon as we hit the last step.

-M. Taggart

 

 

Daily Prompt: Fishing Up North

via Daily Prompt: Fishing

There was a constant wind blowing from the south. The wind drove itself into the mountain range on the opposite side of the lake. He had taken the canoe to the farthest southern corner of the lake. There, the canopy of evergreens block the wind. The water was smooth.

The lake was nice and cool. The native trout were active. He watched them rise, leaving small rings. There was only the sound of the wind reaching, and swiveling away from the soft branches of the evergreens.

Raising his arm, the fly line became active and arched beautifully through the air. He’d seen a riser just ten yards in front of the canoe. He landed the fly just inside the outer portion of the ring.

Immediately his line became taught, his rod bent in half. He could feel every movement the large trout made. It fought severely. The fly snapped back into the air, and flew toward the canoe. The fish was gone.

He could still feel the vibrant activity in his hands, arms, and mostly his mind. He lay the rod down, letting the fly line drift on the water. He wanted to remember the feeling of the strike. And he wanted to remember the feeling of his failure. He reached into the inner pocket of his wool coat and found the half-smoked cigar.

He liked that a cigar lit hard after having been smoked and let to die out. He needed to cover the cigar from the wind and point it down to warm it sufficiently before trying to smoke it. If the smoke from the cigar didn’t travel fully through, he’d need to start over. After the third try his thumb would be slightly burned. If the wind was too heavy the cigar couldn’t be lit. He’d be left with a smoldering cigar and burned thumb. But, if the cigar was lit, he would enjoy the feeling of the smoke. He’d watch the swirls leave his mouth and range wildly around his face. No one arrangement of smoke was the same. Thinking about this made him ache with warmth.

-M. Taggart

(photo taken by me while fishing.)