And the writing trail continues!

My short story, ‘The Stump Maker,’ word count his risen to 3,400!

There’s something about bringing a story to life that fills my soul full of positive fuel.

The submission word cap is 5,000..so I’ll be sliding this one to an end shorty…a heart pounding end I hope! It is a horror story after all ;P

Cheers, Everyone!

I hope your day is treating you well.

Matt

Author of ‘Only. Just. Here.’ Which is published in America’s Emerging Horror Writers: East Region:

https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Emerging-Horror-Writers-Region/dp/1097715485/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4GXHSPDK0398RJJ6QDS3

And author of the award winning short story, ‘Bodies in The Basement.’

Read for free here: https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/bodies-in-the-basement-awarded-publication-of-the-year-non-poetic-spillwords-press-nyc-2019/

 

Poem

I haven’t seen him since 2016
This is us

Wrote a story about him
He’s in the middle
I’m on the right
Phil is on the left

Love the man
He always said
We got to try everything once

That was then
I wonder about that now

 

 

this is us

I’m on the writing trail!

I’m 700 words into my new Horror Story, “The Stump Maker,” I can’t wait to submit this! I know how it’s going to end….it’s just a matter of letting the words flow and filling in the dots. …

I hope everyone is doing as good as possible and that your day is treating you well. And please, remember, it’s a beautiful life if we let it be, even when it rains.

 

Matt

 

Bodies in The Basement won Publication of the Year, non-poetic, on SpillWords Press, NYC. I invite you to read it..

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/bodies-in-the-basement-awarded-publication-of-the-year-non-poetic-spillwords-press-nyc-2019/

 

#Short Story

‘I’m a Lion’
Based on True Events
Written by -M. Taggart

I’m a Lion

“It’s not always about coyotes, Dad.” The windows were down while they drove along the dirt road. The wind crossed through the cabin of the truck and back into the forest.

“There are coyotes out there.”

“But, it’s not always about the coyotes, Dad.”

“I know.”

“If there was a coyote that tried to get you, I’d used my sharp teeth and kill that coyote. But, it’s not always coyotes. Sometimes it’s wolves too and mountain lions. I’ll kill them with my long claws and sharp teeth.”

“I love your imagination, honey,” his mother said. She turned her head forward again. “I don’t remember doing things like this. We went on drives, but it was as if I wasn’t allowed to have my own thoughts. I was just, there. Did you ever feel like that?”

“No.” He filed through images of his memory, recalling playing in mud with his brother and having stick wars against neighborhood children. Riding bikes and fishing and pretending to be a private in the military.

“Anyway, Dad, it’s not always about coyotes.”

He watched the dust follow the truck in the rear view mirror. It drifted slowly, and toward the end of the trail the dust was gone again.

 

-M. Taggart

Author of the award winning short story, ‘Bodies In The Basement.’ Which can be read via the link below.

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/bodies-in-the-basement-awarded-publication-of-the-year-non-poetic-spillwords-press-nyc-2019/

 

Books and Brews!

Easily among my favorite days. The book signing was an incredible success. Even though my hands were shaking while signing the first few. 46982E77-AFA4-45BC-9691-E7BEDDCCDAA2

Summarizes my priorities. Me looking at my family.

What a memory! I’m one lucky man.

Cheers everyone!

Matt

“Bodies in the Basement,” has been voted Non-Poetic Publication of the Year! 

“Bodies in the Basement,” has been voted Non-Poetic Publication of the Year! Spillwords Press, NYC.

Looks like I’ll need to change my blog around a bit. Thanks to Spillwords, and all of you, one of my favorite stories I’ve written, is now an award winner! I’m pumped, joyful, and thankful! I love this! The story was written about a prep-school campus I visited often as a child. We lived just below the campus and many of us snuck onto the campus at night and explored things we shouldn’t have.

I’m thrilled to be among all of the talented participants in the 2019 awards.

View the award PDF here:

Spillwords Press Awards 2020

 

Written by: M. Taggart

 

It was a crisp, damp, October night.
“When we get to the Church I’ll go down first.” Colin was thinking of the moment when both he and Aaron would be standing at the top of the basement stairs peering down into the darkness.
The old stone Church was perched at the top of the largest hill on the prep school’s campus. Colin’s parents were professors at the school and their house was on campus grounds. They’d been waiting for Colin’s parents to fall asleep upstairs. Both boys were comfortable in their sleeping bags on the screened in porch. The lights had been turned out an hour ago and Colin felt it was time to slip into the night.
They unzipped their sleeping bags without noise. Colin gave Aaron an understanding nod of his head. Aaron opened the porch door slowly, so as not to make it squeak. They’d snuck out at night a number of times and both knew the routine.
Once down the porch steps, and into the bushes on the far end of the lawn, they found their beaten down footpath leading to the Church. Crickets were busy sounding off.
“I heard Ben saw the baby in the jar.” Said Aaron.
“He didn’t. He’s just saying he did. Ben would be too afraid to sneak in. He’d never do it. Besides, the doors of the science building are locked at night.”
“They weren’t when we snuck in.”
“That was different. I knew which window to climb through.” Said Colin.
The moon was large. Its brilliant glow could be seen from beneath each cloud. The grass was soaked with mildew; moisture reached out and touched the boys’ jeans. The smell of dirt from the footpath filled their lungs. Each step bringing them nearer to their true intentions; learning if there was a morgue in the basement of the Church. Rumors swirled endlessly amongst them at school. Some said the Church had a morgue and that it was haunted. Others said the Church didn’t have a morgue and that Sunday school classes were held in the basement.
For a brief moment the night sky broke open with moonlight. Colin looked at Aaron and wondered why Aaron was smiling. He could see the dark space between Aaron’s two front teeth.
“Look how fast the clouds are moving,” said Colin.
“I like them. They look crazy. Do you think we can get in?” asked Aaron.
“Yes. They don’t lock the Church.”

 

Read the entire story here:

Bodies In The Basement

Cheers, everyone!

Matt

 

‘Bodies In The Basement’ has been nominated for Publication of the Year (Non-Poetic) on Spillwords. Voting Starts now.

Hi Friends,

My short story, ‘Bodies In The Basement,’ has been nominated for Publication of the Year (Non-Poetic) on Spillwords. Voting takes place from January 26th – January 30th.

Please consider voting for my story via this link:

Vote

And you can read the story here:

Bodies In The Basement

Thanks everyone and Cheers!

Matt

Life, Blood & Charles Bukowski

I got the dreaded call from Gavin’s school today. He’s the youngest in the entire school. His teacher told us that he’s very smart, has an incredible vocabulary, and is brave.

“Hello is this, Matt? Gavin has been in the nurses office for about an hour. He’s OK, but he did bite his tongue and it won’t stop bleeding.”

While on the way to the ER, Gavin, fell asleep. I watched him in my rear view mirror knowing blood was filling his mouth. Eventually I could hear the blood interfering with his breathing. I asked him to wake up and swallow. He did, while half asleep, swallow the blood.

I parked outside the ER and grabbed paper towel. I reached back toward Gavin. I woke him up, with the paper towel ready to catch the blood. It took a moment for him to wake, but when he did, he wore a worried look and I could see he was active with his tongue inside his mouth. “It’s OK, just spit it into this.” Gavin opened his mouth and a clot was on top of his tongue. He spit the clot, along with more blood, into the paper towel.

He never once cried.

The ER doctors opted not to cauterize the laceration. They didn’t want to cause Gavin trauma. Megan held ice to his tongue all evening and finally the bleeding stopped.

And for some reason unknown to me, Gavin bounced his way up to ‘Alexa’ our digital-voice friend whom many of you might also have and said, “Alexa, play Charles Bukowski.”

Seems Gavin will be just fine. But I’m not.

-Matt

Wish me luck!

I’m doing it! I’m hosting a book signing event at a brewery!

February 29th, at Element Brewing Company! Which borders the town I graduated High School from. One of my best friends urged me to host a book signing. I was embarrassed at the thought of it, but I’m doing it!

It’s been great vibes! The owners of the brewery are all for it, and the support from my home town has been incredible. Friends, family, and even people I don’t know are already signed up to attend. I wonder just how many people are going to flood the brewery and have a beer with us! Megan, and even Gavin will be there. My brothers, and parents…oh it’s on!

I wanted to share the fun with all of you, because, you’re invited too! lol I realize many of you are in different countries, but it’s the thought- having some of my digital writing buddies there would be great, even if just in spirit. This is going to be one fun party and I don’t want you to miss out.

Seriously though, if any of you are in the Massachusetts area, and want to connect, you are invited. Contact me for the details.

Cheers!

(Some of you may remember that I was invited to a book signing at a bookstore in New Hampshire. I did that. It was awkward. This one is a completely different animal and I can’t wait!)

Screaming Hills – A published Story

This is the first chapter of Screaming Hills. An additional 4,000 words (along with this of course) is published with Z Publishing House. Enjoy the read!
Written by -M. Taggart
Fiction

Screaming Hills

“What can burn your thoughts, can burn your soul.” Nick tossed a rock over the edge of the cliff. He listened carefully as the rock hit the side of the cliff face. He didn’t hear it land at the bottom.

“What the hell does that mean? You should write that down.” Rick stepped on his cigarette.  Smoke spilled from his nostrils as he spoke.

“It means whatever you’d like for it to mean. Have you ever noticed how people are in this town? Not all, but most. The depressed expressions with sunken eyes and an edge of hostility in their walk?” Nick opened his arms wide with his palms up. They stood at the top of Indian’s Leap, the town overlook. One side consisted of the entire view of their home town, The Falls. The other side was a view of their High School rivals, Little-Vegas, as they liked to call it. “It’s as if they’ve given up.”

It was noon. The sun was too hot to not be under shade. Rick knew the heat of the sun wouldn’t keep Nick from standing in this one spot for the next hour. Sweat would soak both of them and their shirts would stick to their backs and he knew Nick wouldn’t move. He’d stand there and look at the town.

“I guess. Maybe I’m one of them. I don’t know. There’s not much money in either of these towns. The paper mills went under years ago and now they sit and rot. What’s to be happy about?”

“Isn’t that just it though?” Nick smiled.

“Don’t go on one of your rants. Come on, let’s get down and find a place out of the sun.”

“It’s funny. When I’m asked a question, I expect that I’m expected to answer the question. You asked. Now I answer. How about the corn fields. How about the next strong thunder storm, or the wind that comes with it, or the rain that drenches the fields which creates the corn. All this corn throughout this valley and the sweet smell it spreads and no one can find a reason to love this? No one but maybe the farmer? But! We know the farmers’ kids, and they are dealing, and walk with their sunken eyes and spread nothing but filth and hate along with a deadly addiction. So the happiness stopped with the farmer who created the sweet smelling corn and begs the skies to open and dump beauty on his fields; only to be crushed to a stop by his off springs’ inability to accept happiness. Does that sum it nicely for you?”

Rick lit another cigarette, inhaled fully, and again smoke vacated through his nostrils. “You won’t be here much longer will you?”

“I’ll stand here longer. But no, I will not stay in this town. I argue with myself. I’d like to stay and conquer my back yard. I’ve read and heard how important it is to do this before leaving. Otherwise you chase what you had failed to accomplish. But, I doubt this is true because if it were than no one would ever be anywhere without having failed first. I also think most of the people who say this only say it to sound as though they’ve put true thought into the statement. And from what I see, people are full of shit. I want to develop as a person and I’m sure I’ll stunt my development if I don’t leave. I want to walk in a town that lives on hope and feel what that might taste like. Do you see?”

“I get it. You asked me a question. I need to answer. But you asked if I see. Yes, I see, but I don’t understand. How can you feel what hope might taste like?”

“I only said that to be sure you were listening. Actually, it’s like this; what if hope was chicken soup made from scratch served at a restaurant that was loved by the town. What if the chef was a grandmother who had ten grandchildren and those grandchildren stopped in from time to time to have the chicken soup. What if the grandchildren loved their grandmother so much they hoped she might live until she was one hundred and twenty and what if each time they stepped into the restaurant they said a prayer asking for just that. And then, they order the chicken soup.”

Nick’s face was tense. Rick knew it wasn’t easy for Nick. How Nick expressed himself with words was a fraction of what Nick felt inside. He’d seen Nick turn to the Nick that the others talked about. Feared. “You know, this time, I think I do understand. And yes, I’d order that soup. And I’d taste hope. I get it.”

“Then why can’t the people of this town get that corn is their fucking chicken soup. They are blessed with the most fertile valley in all of New England. The fucking river rushed over its fucking edges so many times in the past that it’s literally farmland handed to them by God and they don’t see it. They don’t get it. They smash their bodies with heroin and coke and whatever other drugs they can get. And they fall into what they consider normal for any small town with its mills gone. And they die. They all fucking die.”

Rick watched as Nick’s face transformed from tense to focused and angry and relaxed again. The sun was still too hot. And their shirts were now sticking to them. But he’d stand right here with Nick and the both of them wouldn’t be going anywhere, just yet.

***

Here’s the Amazon link if you’d like to read the rest.

https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Emerging-Literary-Fiction-Writers/dp/1097684032/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Emerging+literary+writers+Northeast+region+z+publishing+house&qid=1568726600&s=gateway&sr=8-1

And here’s a wonderful testimonial:
“This a fantastic short story collection of current emerging writers. Lots of great, varied stories. Matt Taggart is the reason that I bought this and his small town, mystical nuanced story is excellent! Matt is a fantastic writer and poet with a fantastic blog on word press. I highly recommend you check out his writing in any format.”

Have the best day possible,

Matt