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.)

 

An Ocean View

An Ocean View

Fiction: -M. Taggart

Oh- the day was nice. Nicer than most. And we kept driving and looking at the ocean as it appeared and disappears as it does. We were driving on Route One in Rhode Island. When the ocean was in view it was hard to breathe. The sun sparkled so violently it took your attention.

Things would have been alright if the man hadn’t shouldered dad. Dad was fine until he wasn’t. And when he wasn’t, things were fine for no one.

Dad had been in line, holding Mom’s hand. I saw it all happen. The man looked at mom. The way men look at women. Dad pretended to not see. But he did. Dad was looking up and away from the man. The man set his eyes level with Mom’s and smirked, thinking something. Then he shouldered dad. Clear as day.

Dad turned nicely to mom. His eyes knew so much. Mom gave the nod.

I tried watching, but mom held my head tucked in her arms. She even took hold of my nose. I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t breathe through my nose.

It didn’t take long. We were back in the car and the ocean was again winking at us and it seemed nothing had happened at all.

**

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more of my writing, please consider my self published short story found via the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

-M. Taggart

A Storm To Be – A Short Story

You could smell it. The freshness. The cool-crisp taste transferring from your nose to your tongue. It would snow today. The clouds would become darker, heavier even, and would produce moisture and eventually droplets of ice forming around particles of dust and the ice would drop and form into flakes of snow. Later he would stand outside and let the snow flakes land on his face. He wanted to know the storm like he knew the land around him. He’d walked the woods and surrounding farmlands, with their brooks and stone walls, his entire life. He knew the sounds of the forest; the creatures that are loudest at night, and the slightest of foot were sometimes the largest predators. He knew where, deep in the woods, a canopy of trees opened perfectly as though it were an eye focused upward and forcing him to truly focus. Yes, he wanted to know the storm as he knew the land, and the storm would need to be welcomed.

copyright 2016  -M. Taggart

 

Thank you for reading and Cheers!

I invite you to learn about my self published book.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

Or read the reviews via the amazon link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Flash Fiction -The Thought of Summer

Fiction: The Thought of Summer
Written by -M. Taggart
Copyright 2016

The Thought of Summer

 

The barn was dank. Inside the bull’s stall was worse. It was dark and he’d left the lamp at the house. He couldn’t always see what he was digging his shovel into, but it didn’t matter it was all the same.

His friends were in the ravine. He imagined Nick fishing in the large pool near the road and Pete walking barefoot further downstream. Pete wouldn’t be fishing, he’d most likely look for bait and return what he scavenged to Nick. Nick would catch a few trout and gut them there on the road. Then he’d wrap the trout in tin foil and put them in his pocket and head for home, or he’d put them under a rock in the brook to stay cool.

The bull’s waste smelled ripe. He didn’t mind the smell. He didn’t mind working the stall. He’d do this for his grandfather every time it needed to be done. He only thought of the ravine because it was the first day of school break. He remember telling his grandfather he’d clear the stall, but he wasn’t sure why he’d selected the first day of break. He knew Nick and Pete would be waiting for him. He’d forgotten to tell them he wouldn’t be there. It wasn’t a problem, other than that he’d forgotten to tell them and that didn’t feel right to him. He should have told them.

He dug his shovel deep into the manure and let it stand on his own. He walked out of the dark stall and into the open area where hay was stacked before being lifting into the loft. The sunlight, coming from the open barn door, looked as clean as anything he’d seen. It cut through the shadows of the barn and brought with it a smell of fresh air. Outside, he squinted his eyes hard. He could hear the chickadees talking back and forth and crows cawing just as they took flight from a large oak.

He noticed the wind playing with the leaves on the oak. The leaves were flipped over forcefully. Then all leaves on every tree were flipped and pushed in the same direction. The wind picked up dust from the corn field and come toward him. He looked from the leaves, to the corn field, back to the trees. Just behind the row of oak, maple, and pines was the entry to the ravine.

The first clap of thunder was so loud he ducked and then squatted covering his head. The sky became black and purple. He wasn’t sure when it had happened, but it had and now it was. A strap of lightening struck the oak the crows had flown from. A large branch crashed its way down into the ravine. He crawled to the barn. Rain was mixed with hail and had beaten him in the few short feet he made his way through the field on his stomach back to the barn. He was drenched and covered in mud. He felt his body running into the barn but his mind wanted to know about Nick and Pet. He thought he had seen tops of trees flying through the air. He’d never seen anything like that and he wasn’t sure.

And now he hunkered in the same stall he’d been working in. He’d made a small indent in the manure which was not level with the rest of the floor and he felt safest there, with his face in bull waste. He felt the need to pull the manure over him like a blanket. His ears popped. He could feel the barn moaning. It creaked loudly and he heard what sounded like a portion of the barn roof ripping away. He covered his neck and breathed the moist air and tried to pin himself as deep as possible into his small sanctuary.

What of Nick and Pete, he thought. The storm raged and they were in the ravine. He’d seen the lightening hit the oak. And seen pieces of trees in the air. If he had told them he’d be working in the stall they wouldn’t have gone to the ravine to wait for him today. They always meet on the first day and now this. He promised himself to never forget how he felt. To always remember. But, would they have still gone? Maybe, he thought. None of that matters though, he told himself. Because now he’s stuck to the thought of it and that can’t go away, not matter what. He created this, the thought of it, the remembering and now he’s here in the stall waiting.

 

******

For my self published shorty story please click the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Flash Fiction – A True Division

A True Division- Fiction.

Written by -M. Taggart

Copyright 2016

‘I’d never vote for him. No way. When it’s time to vote, I’m voting whoever isn’t Trump.’ She said. Her friend sat next to her nodding her head. The two didn’t realize they were talking loudly. ‘He is trash and whoever supports him is trash. I’d slap anyone I met who supports that pig. And how could they even know how to treat a woman, the way Trump talks, that sexist dick.’

The small town Maine registry of motor vehicles waiting room was full. It was the first hot and humid day of the year on the East Coast. The townspeople were friendly but the mood was that of a somber thinking time. The only conversation taking place was between the two girls and anyone could listen.

An older man sat close to the girls. He looked at his worn and beaten hands. The tips of his fingers were thick and cracked. He worked his dairy farm as hard as when he was a young man. Now though, they had the ice cream shop and he’d just finished building the siting room. People in his town liked their ice cram and loved his wife. She was known all through out the region. He hadn’t known he was sexist. Or a pig. All he knew was that he loved his wife more than he loved himself and she was the reason he’d never stop working. She gave him strength and understood things he couldn’t.

‘I can’t wait to get to Canada. We’re going to be crazy. It’s like, going to be awesome.’ Her breasts shook. She was wearing her new tan. ‘We’re going to drink tequila all night long and Katie is going and she’s crazy. She’s as crazy as me and I’m the one that’s suppose to watch out for all of us.’

‘I’m ready to drive there now,’ her friend said,  ‘and did I show you this text from this guy? I like, didn’t know if he was into me, but listen to this.’ The girls shrieked after having read the text out loud while holding her cell phone up for everyone to see.

‘Can you believe how stupid people are even considering that pig? He shouldn’t be able to run, he’s not even smart. How could anyone vote for him? What is this country turning into?’ She held her arm outstretched and smiled wide while taking a picture. Her friend leaned in. A women sitting in back of them placed her book in front of her face.

A voice through a speaker called for number 129 to please come up to window number two. The two girls walked together to the open window. ‘Hi. Like, I have my motorcycle license in Florida and I was told I can just have you add it here. I don’t have paperwork. If you need paper work can you tell me what to fill out?’

The old man no longer observed or listened. His mind was on the farm and his wife. He wanted to be sure to stop and buy flowers for her on the way home.

 

An Uneven Unity – A Short Story

An Uneven Unity: Fiction

Written by -M. Taggart copyright 2016

 

‘Hun, why are you stomping?’

‘I’m not stomping. I’m trying to put things away.’ She said with a tone.

His wife generally stomped when she was busy. She also seemed upset and almost angry. Her eyes were tense and she gave one word answers. A few minutes earlier he had heard her car door close. He was excited she was home. He’d put his boots on and opened the door. She had an arm load of groceries. He smiled wide and asked how her day was. She pushed through the door and passed him. ‘Good.’ She had rushed into the kitchen and put the bags on the counter and immediately went into the bathroom. He thought about asking her if she was alright through the door, but knew it wouldn’t go well. Instead, he brought in the rest of the groceries.

Now, as he read at the table, he watched her stomp. ‘How was your day Hun?’

‘I told you. Good.’ And again she rushed passed him stomping as she went.

He felt the familiar twinge of disappointment spreading. ‘Well, did anything exciting happen?”

‘No. It was work. And why do you always start a conversation with me by saying something like I’m stomping. That puts me in a bad mood. You know it does. You’re like the men I work with. I’m sorry to tell you, but not all women walk lightly. That’s sexist. I walk how I walk and it’s not stomping. I’m busy and getting things done so I can relax like you.’

‘It wasn’t sexist. Calm down. From my point of view, it was a fact. You seem to be stomping. And you seem unhappy. I want you not to be unhappy and I want to help, but I don’t know how.’ Now his body was fully and completely disappointed. He’d gone too far and now it was his fault. He could have let her finish with her mood on her own, but instead he needled because he was not a sexist and he felt he needed to defend himself. But, to what end, he thought.

‘Don’t tell me to calm down!’ She snapped. ‘Now I am unhappy and it’s because of you.’ Her eyes were full of anger. She seemed to look at him as though she didn’t enjoy him and wished he were gone.

He tried to find his piece within his book. He knew to not reply. To leave her alone. He’d apologize later.

‘You know what?’ she said, ‘It would be nice if you’d have a conversation with me instead of reading all the time. I get home and your face is stuck in a book. You don’t talk to me. It’s as if you don’t even know me.’

The light was fading, the day was nearing to an end. Soon it would be dusk and then dark. Eventually he would walk upstairs to their bedroom. His wife would already be asleep. He’d slide his jeans off as quietly as he could and slowly get into bed. He’d think about putting his arm over his wife and pulling her close and whispering he loved her and kissing the back of her head. He wouldn’t do this for fear of waking her and becoming angry with him.

 

A Mother Endures

Hadly was an enduring mother. Her twins, Peter and Elizabeth, were taking a nap. Her youngest, Jenny, was on her lap. She was rocking the baby to sleep. Her brow was set. Once all three were asleep she’d have an opportunity.

What was left of the day’s sunshine spilled through the half open window shade which shown a path of light to the opening of the closet where soiled children’s clothes lay. She would do a load of laundry as soon as Jenny was asleep, she thought.

Hadly watched Jenny’s heavy eyes. The baby was blinking and with each blink her tiny eyelids were staying closed longer. Within minutes Jenny’s eyes would shut and not open again for at least a half hour. Hadly smelled the top of Jenny’s head and nuzzled her. She told her she loved her in a soothing tone.

Hadly took notice of the changing table’s mess. She needed to remember to clean the linen and wash the wood where the soiled diaper had slipped from her hands. The baby had kicked and gotten her heal into the diaper unexpectedly. Normally she would have placed the diaper in a position where even if Jenny had kicked, it wouldn’t have mattered.

The baby took one last blink and was asleep. Hadly kissed Jenny’s head and slowly rose from the rocking chair and walked to the crib. She cradled Jenny’s head and lowered her body, gently, and smoothed Jenny’s hair as always. She again told Jenny she loved her, turned to the closet, gathered the dirty clothes, and walked out of the nursery.

While walking down the hallway, with the clothes in her arms, she quietly peered into the bedroom to view the twins. Peter was sleeping face down in an awkward position, but she could see his body rise with each breath; there was no worry. Elizabeth slept on her side, facing her. Elizabeth was small for a three year old. Her cheeks were rosy and always flushed to a degree even when inside and asleep.

Every afternoon was a variation of this. One way or another she’d entice the twins into a nap and then she’d rock Jenny to sleep. Finally she’d have a small amount of time to handle items around the house before learning if her husband would come home on time, or not at all.

Hadly stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She had started the laundry and now had to decide if she wanted to shower, or wash bottles. Her face looked stern and caring. Her eyes looked vibrant and knowing, but if you knew when to look, you’d see they were tired. She didn’t allow herself to view her tired eyes, only the vibrant because there wasn’t time to be tired. And now she needed to quickly decide, shower, or bottles.

Her husbands hands-off approach was something she took as a personal challenge. It was not a punishment. She had wanted and gotten the children she’d dreamed of having. Last night he had come home late. This didn’t surprise, nor anger her. Last week he hadn’t come home at all on Tuesday night. This was happening so regularly now that the children had stopped asking questions.

She softened her brow to view the creases ease. She let the memory of having moved away from her family and friends steal a few precious seconds. She thought of how difficult it had been to give her career away, but she had done it. Then, they had lost the first one. She endured and now they have three. She smiled at herself in the mirror and a small tear formed. She let it drop freely down her cheek and onto her chin. She had time for one tear and a shower if she hurried.

I’ve endured my entire life. Maybe enduring isn’t enough, she thought.

*

Copyright 2016 -M. Taggart

Note: I wrote this with limited time Sunday morning with my wife, Megan, and eight month old, Gavin, in back of me. They are in bed watching cartoons. Gavin is babbling at his toys and Megan is drinking coffee I had brought to her a few moments ago. I’ve never written in the same room as my family. I like this story and may develop it further. Thanks for reading, Matt.

If you enjoyed this short story you might also like my self published short story found on amazon via the link below:
https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Be-Sally-Based-Events-ebook/dp/B00DYAJ2ZW?ie=UTF8&keywords=don%27t%20be%20a%20sally&qid=1433349895&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1