And he had stayed while the rain came down; he had stayed while she sat alone, only a blanket provided comfort, and he looking out the window at the rain thinking about how he might need to leave or to maybe not be in the same place as her, anymore, and the rain came and nothing mattered about any of it other than the thinking of what to do and the thinking of what to do meant something needed to be done.
I look back at my childhood and pull the good from the not good. There was plenty of both. Somehow I’ve become a success in life. To me, happiness is success. But to much of society, prosperity is the measure worth looking at. I wish it wasn’t like this. Reading a book outside with the sun touching the pages while listening to Spring-time birds, all while thinking nothing other than the book and the sun and the birds, that is a measure I use to gage my happiness.
Yet, somehow, even with my bad portions of my childhood, I am a success on other levels as well. I am a father. A husband. A business owner. A college graduate. I have been elected President and owner of a new company set to explode. We are building a new building in a city which contains Maine’s second largest population. I picked the city. It’s diverse. I like diversity. My company will bring new jobs to this city. As I told the city officials, my goal is to enhance the community we enter. I will do exactly that. Our store will open later this summer.
I bring these points up because, based on only my writing, it’s possible for someone to assume that I am hobbled in a dark hole spinning around in circles. That isn’t the case. It’s simply easy for me to remember the bad and to write about the bad. Just as easily as it is for me to write about morning coffee.
When I was a teenager I wanted to be a writer who lived in Maine. At that point I lived in Massachusetts. I’ve lived in a few different states, however, I am now a writer who lives in Maine. I always wanted to be a father and husband. And while sitting in a jail cell in my early twenties, I knew I’d be a loving father and husband. My will was never broken nor in question.
My childhood trauma does not define me. I use it as motivation. And through my freedom of expression that motivation lives nearly in tangible forms. I set my goals long ago and now I’m setting new goals to will into being.
I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring. I am blessed. I am thankful. And please keep in mind, I may write about some awful situations, some of the darkest of places, and of thoughts no one wishes upon another- keep in mind that I am fine. More than fine. It’s important the bad is not forgotten with my abundance of good in the now. Much like the photo below. Taken a month before my father’s passing. I knew he was dying. I was on a bender, I look beat up, tired, real. I remember taking the photo and staring at it, taking in all of its reality. I know I don’t look my best, but I feel the thoughts that I had during the moment, simply by viewing the photo. This game of life is something to cherish. All of it.
Arm is healing good. Taking a shower is a bit funny. Megan tapes a trash bag around my arm at the top of my shoulder. I do my best to stay in the same clothes for two days. Not ideal, but it is what it is. My follow up appointment is next week. I hope to see how long my new surgery scar is. I like scars. When my tendon ripped completely from the bone, it felt like a small Charley horse. I realized nearly immediately that I had just torn my bicep and that the tendon was tangling around somewhere. I felt very little pain. Although, I knew that I’d need surgery when I felt my left bicep, and it was up toward my shoulder leaving a gap where it normally was. The next day was Super Bowl Sunday. I shoveled the end of the driveway, drank beer and watched the game. Megan wasn’t impressed. The following morning I went to the doctors hung over, but happy.
Anyway, I still feel very little pain. Even after the nerve block wore off. And to Hell with the oxycodone they prescribed me. Don’t want it. Don’t need it. It was like this for me after my motorcycle accident. Had surgery for that one too. Fun times. Learned a lot. Wouldn’t change at thing.
Rumors and speculation surround the possible inhabitants of Blackout Island, located just a few miles off the coast. Conspiracy theories abound while social media leaks surface about government experiments gone wrong. Certainly something or someone must live there, for haven’t we all seen the shaky home videos of the occasional wisp of smoke or recordings of eerie sounds carrying far across the water on a calm summer night? Something wicked has been let loose within its depths…. And it is time for the truth to be revealed. Featuring seven dark stories by L.E. Aleman, Darren Diarmuid, Lauren Rylant, A.P. Christopher, -M. Taggart, M. Ennenbach, and Joann L. Berg. (Edited by Tara Caribou.)
Rumors and speculation surround the possible inhabitants of Blackout Island, located just a few miles off the coast. Conspiracy theories abound while social media leaks surface about government experiments gone wrong. Certainly something or someone must live there, for haven’t we all seen the shaky home videos of the occasional wisp of smoke or recordings of eerie sounds carrying far across the water on a calm summer night? Something wicked has been let loose within its depths… And it’s time for the truth to be revealed.
Featuring seven dark stories by L.E. Aleman, Darren Diarmuid, Lauren Rylant, A.P. Christopher, -M. Taggart, M. Ennenbach, and Joann L. Berg.
For those of you who love reading, it’s go-time! The Shadows of Blackout Island is a horror anthology.
The Stump Maker: Three young teenagers agree to camp near a remote lake. As their fire grows, darkness creeps in, and with it, something else. The forgotten legend of The Stump Maker has been awoken.
This is a great read! Grab the paperback or kindle edition here-
The Stump Maker Written by -M. Taggart
Tim leaned back against a large pine. It was dusk. Derek made a circle with large stones to build the fire pit. He even tossed small rocks into the bottom so the air could flow more freely from underneath to feed the fire. The flames grew higher and flickered eastward as the wind picked up.
“That’s going good,” Brian said as he dumped an armload of wood a few feet from the fire. “Should be enough to last. Are we really going to do this?”
“Course,” replied Tim.
“I don’t see much stopping, Tim, do you?”
“No. I guess not. It’s all probably nothing anyway.”
“It’s nothing and if it isn’t nothing, I don’t much care, after what I’ve seen.”
“I know, Tim. I get it. We don’t need to go over all of that again.”
“Why not? It was my father it happened to. I’m not like other people. I’d rather talk about it than hide from it.”
“We’re going to need more wood than that. I put rocks at the bottom. This fire will burn through that wood in an hour.”
“We can all get more wood in a half-hour. I want to hear the story again about Mr. Wilson,” Tim said. “Brian, tell us what your mother said again. We’ve all heard things, but nothing like what your mother said. She reads all those books.”
Brian’s cheeks were flushed. Not from embarrassment, but with excitement. He liked telling stories. “I’ll tell you what she told me again. All of it.”
Derek sat on a stump near the fire and Tim leaned further into the pine tree while thumbing the top of his pocket knife.
“She said Mr. Wilson lost his only son in the lake. That part, we knew. She said that most of the land surrounding the lake was Wilson’s and that he and his son would fly fish for trout in a canoe. She said they would also hunt and walk over nearly every inch of the land they owned. One day, his son went fishing alone and didn’t come back.”
“I heard he drowned,” said Derek. “Did he tip and fall into the lake and not know how to swim? How could that happen if he was constantly on the land with his father and learning how to hunt and fish.”
“Yea. That doesn’t seem right to me either.”
“Guys, that’s just it. No one knows what happened. He didn’t come back and they said it happened in the lake. But Mr. Wilson went nuts after his son disappeared. They never found the body. My mother told me that Mr. Wilson blamed the power company for putting the dam in at the foot of the lake. They wanted to make hydroelectricity, but never did. So that’s why the dam is at the foot of the lake to control the flow of the water that runs into the Acton River. Streams feed into the lake and the water has to go somewhere so the power company wanted to use the water to make electricity and Mr. Wilson fought with them about it. My mother said that the power company wanted this location because of the natural geography of the slope where they placed the dam. The land drops down, making it easy for them to build the dam with the pumps underneath to open and close the gates. Anyway, that’s why that dam is at the foot of the lake and that’s why there’s a tunnel that runs under the dam… You’re going to do it, right, Tim?”
“I already told you I’m going to do it.”
“I know. I just needed to ask.”
“Keep asking and I’ll talk about my Dad and how I found him in these woods.”
The fire cracked loudly. Somewhere near a raven screeched. Dusk was a bit darker and traveling closer to night. Tim didn’t take his eyes off of Brian. Derek watched both of them.
Derek liked Tim. Liked how he was stronger now even after he lost his father. He liked about how Tim could lean against a tree and make it look comfortable, as though everyone should try to lean against a tree and be comfortable. But, he knew if he tried, it wouldn’t be that way. He watched as Brian looked at his boots, the small moment was over, but he saw it. Brian was good too, not as tough as Tim, but that didn’t matter.
Release date 12/12/20 The Shadows of Blackout Island, Edited by Tara Caribou Horror Anthology My short story, The Stump Maker, is within these pages.
2020 has been a challenge for many. Having lost my father in October, I gave little effort to submitting or writing anything of substance. The one bright light has been this upcoming publication. Working with Tara was a needed uplift for me personally. Thank you, Tara. https://taracaribou.com/published-works/
And seriously…look at this cover! I’ll post a few teasers as we get closer to the release. (along with the link to purchase when that’s avaliable.)
My Dad told us we’d be different. That we’re Scottish and that we’d be barrel chested. I didn’t know what that meant. He told us that we’d be smart and not always understood. He told us lots of things that were hard to believe. He positioned us with confidence. His own creativity was taken for granted and I believe he wanted my brother and I to not let anyone take from us what might be ours in the space of creativity. I’d like to believe that we can all celebrate our differences including our talents. I’d like to believe it’s possible. I’m proud of you, Dad. You had the mind to be yourself. I’ll continue to do the same.
*** That is the exact post I placed on my personal FB page as a partial goodbye to my father. I share it here because I feel a sense of respect and friendship with many of you whom I’ve connected with over the last number of years. I know some of you care, or for that, thank you. And while for a time, I didn’t see my father as a child, and when I did it was once a week on Sunday, he still made an impact on my life. I loved him and still do. May it be that I see him often in his perfect rest. Love you, Dad.
It was my father who helped to give permission to believe in writing.
I prefer being transparent. I want people to know what’s going on.