Old Soul

Your name sounds like a gurgling brook. When I was a child I would rinse my feet in the brook that lived across the street from my home. In the Spring the water was cold and sometimes the brook ran high and dangerous from the snow melt from the north. That was when I wanted to be near the brook the most. If the brook had a soul I think I would know it by name. I’m not smart enough to know if a brook has a soul, so for now I’ll just consider it my friend.

-M. Taggart

poem –

It’s good to hear from you-
It’s snowing this morning.
They said it wouldn’t, but it is.
It’s cold. Below zero with the wind chill.
I thought of you after writing last night
and about how long this tunnel is,
the same one we both know.
The snow doesn’t mind. It falls and falls.
And yea, it really is the truth. But let’s try and
explain it to them so they understand
when we both know they never will.
So, I’ll just keep watching the snow fall
when it wasn’t supposed to.

-M. Taggart
copyright 2017

A Pub Walk – New England Pubs

I enjoy pubs. I enjoy reading. I combined them and learned I am addicted to reading while at pubs. Listening to the drone of public speak, mixed with arguments or laughter, I’ve found a gem of solitude and happiness. I have even met great friends.

In New England we have a number of hidden pubs. When asked how to get to one of these gems, some might answer, ‘You can’t get there from here.’

First, The Book Mill. Seated on the bank of a river in Montague, MA. Before this converted mill housed a pub (The Lady Killigrew Cafe), my brother and I would walk this river and watch our father fish for trout. Get there early and grab a seat overlooking the river. Outside seating overlooking moving water stirs imagination. Go here. They have good beer and oddly enough good rice. There’s even a bookstore next door.

Outside Brew

bookmill1

 

Next up- The BridgeSide Grill, Sunderland, MA. Ah, Yes! I cannot write this without mentioning some good friends. I would embarrassingly stay at this cozy family friendly hide-away until closing time. At times I would help them vacuum. These were my bachelor days and the owner and staff were incredibly kind to me. They never kicked me out while I read and drank their beer and held up a seat for hours. In fact, I miss doing that to them. I lived close by. I walked there. And I would walk home. The BridgeSide Grille has a nook style bar and outside patio. I once was able to talk the owner’s son into selling a piece of art work he’d created. His painting was once hung on the wall of the bar. I really should give that back. When visiting BridgeSide be sure to also drive to the top of Mount Sugarloaf. BridgeSide Grille is located just on the over side of the bridge.

B Side Bridge

 

And moving on- Rhode Island has many pubs. One of which is The Twisted Vine in Westerly, RI.. Along with a great name, Pat and her employees were amazing to Megan during her pregnancy. The Twisted Vine has a NYC feel with the comfort of New England. Exposed Brick, properly lighted, with wood floors and a fire place- you cannot go wrong enjoying a drink here. Especially in the winter. Seat yourself in one of the high back leather chairs near the fireplace and enjoy a cocktail named after a famous author, such as my favorite, Ernest Hemingway. Just before Christmas I once walked into The Twisted Vine to find a Christmas party ongoing. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat left at the bar. Everyone was dressed very well. I was wearing a hoodie, blue jeans, and boots. I was even wearing my beat up Boston Red Sox hat. In my right hand was a book. I turned to leave. While walking toward the door, someone grabbed my elbow and said, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Pat, the owner, had observed me leaving. She wasn’t about to let me feel out of place. And it worked. She placed my butt in a seat and told me to enjoy and read. And I did.

I took the picture of The Twisted Vine’s floor just after Pat had them sanded and urethaned. Pat had seen me walking down the street and waved me in to have a look.

photo (58)

porter

And instead of my sub par photography I’ll post a picture that shows how gorgeous The Twisted Vine is.

Vine.JPG

Vine O

 

And lastly, simply because I’m running out of time to write, The Haversham. Also in Westerly, RI. Within The Haversham you’ll find a large sports pub. You literally can’t get there from one side of the road. You must first fight the Rhode Island road system before being able to enjoy one of the best sports pubs in the area. And when you do, ask for Shane. That man you will not forget. He may, or may not, be slightly crazy. Which I consider to be a word of wisdom and I’m flattered when I’m given the compliment.

It’s simple- if you want to watch a Patriots game and shout at the top of your lungs while drinking beer, this is where you need to be. You will have a rowdy good time. I’ve taken too many pictures of myself cheersing a new friend while at the Haversham. I’ve read numerous books and talked at length about authors, town happenings, and even politics and religion.

H Q

And slightly crazy Shane. The beach is just down the road.

Crazy S

I use the term ‘Pub’ loosely in this article. Each establishment I’ve written about has it’s own brand. I call them ‘Pubs’ because I hold that word close to my heart. To me, it’s an expression. A compliment. When I ask a friend if they’d like to go to a Pub it is because I would like to create a memory over a pint. I would like to charge forward and dive into a conversation that might never be forgotten. I want to cheers to them and to the moment and take a long pull just as Hemingway may have done.  And remember- Don’t ask permission to live your life. Live and be well doing it.

Thanks for reading. If interested in reading more you’ll find information on my self published short story via the link below.

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

Cheers.

 

A True Gem – Short Story

Fiction:  A True Gem

Written by Matt Taggart aka –M. Taggart copyright 2016

Dedicated to Brian W.  A good Coach.  A good father.  A good man.

 

A True Gem

 

Pitching the top of the ninth didn’t bother him.  He’d pitched complete games before and it was the same now as any other time before.  He’d pitch the top and finish the game.  His last game as a senior.

He nearly sprang toward his catcher.  He knew before the catcher made his first step to the mound that he wanted to comment one last time before it was over.

‘This is good.  This isn’t like the last time out when the scouts were here to see you.’ Pete said.  He left his mask on.  He was sweating.  Drops had found their way in between the seam of the mask and to his eyebrows.

‘You’re sweating more than I am.’

‘Don’t worry about my sweat.  How do you do this?  I’m not even calling the game.  You’re calling your own game and I’m here watching like everyone else.  Look at them all.’  Peter gestured behind him.  A few hundred people were watching.

‘It’s been a good few years.’ He turned and walked back to his perch on the mound.  It was his mound.  It was his game and the ball belonged to him in his hands and he knew what was left to do and he’d do it now.  He watched Pete nod to the umpire then squat behind home plate.

The last time, he thought, was the only time he’d let it happen.  The numbers on the pages wouldn’t move.  They mocked him.  He tried to make them move and become what they were meant to be, but he failed.  No, the numbers didn’t move for him like people.  He could see people easily.  He could see now that the batter in front of him was nervous.  He stepped out of the box and blew heavily before looking down the first base line.  The batter wouldn’t look at him and was anxious and now he’d take what was given to him.

**

‘He’s dealing today coach.’  Walt said.

Coach watched Aaron’s high leg kick and smooth motion toward home.  A weak swing and a miss.  ‘He’s doing it again.  He’s something to see.  I hope they give him a shot.’  He felt the same flutter he’d been feeling for months now.  Soon, he thought, he’d need to do something.  But not yet.  There was still work to be done for Aaron.  Last game here as a senior or not, there were many more phone calls to make.  How the hell they could hold up this kid over a score on a test.  A test isn’t everything.  It’s only one part and it’s not the best part and he’d be damned if he didn’t make a college see that.  Any college.

‘You think that scout likes what he sees?’  Walt’s large eyes pushed the question.

‘Judging from that radar hitting mid-nineties I think he sees alright.  But to hell with that radar gun and to hell with that scout.  What the scouts say when Aaron hit that one bad game?  Remember that?  To hell with scouts.  Aaron needs college.  Look at him.  See how he runs this team when he’s up there?  And it’s not just baseball I’m talking about.  He’s something to see alright and to hell with that scout.’  Coach kicked at the dust in the dug-out and moved away from Walt to better see the game.  Aaron had struck out the first batter and was already ahead of the next 0-2.  Watching Aaron was like watching purity.  He knew these people came out to watch as though Aaron were already gone.  Many of them the same teachers that had failed him.  Yet they were here alright.

**

Aaron let the ball find his grip.  It was home to him to be on the mound.  To hold the ball.  To know before delivering to home how the ball would act in mid-air and then to address the batter, through the swing, and into the catcher’s mitt.  His glove was worn and felt not like an extended weight, but as an appendage that’s always been there.  This was how it was supposed to be.  Sitting in a room with a clock telling him his time is up while watching numbers not move was not how it was supposed to be.  Not for him.  No, he thought, let that go.  That was what caused trouble last time.

Aaron stepped off the mound and rounded the back side.  One out to go.  Last batter of his senior year and that was fine.  Bless them, he thought.  As he rounded the mound, he looked each of his infielders in the eye.  The tall left-hander, Ben was on first.  Nate, the dirt dog of the crew, was on second.  Benny, an up and coming stand out, was on short.  And then there was Doug.  He worried about Doug.  He looked at Doug longest and again took his place on the mound.  Coach was watching from the edge of the dug-out.  He was standing nearly in play.

He did not see the crowd.  The batter took his place in the box, kicked his footing to his liking, and dug in.  Aaron wanted to do one thing well.  He again let the ball find its grip within his hand feeling the edges of the seams near the top of his middle finger curing into his palm.  Half way through his delivery, his arm would be in the L-Position and his palm would be facing second base.  He knew before the ball left his hand where the bend in trajectory would take place and it’d be too late for the batter to identify how sharply it would break.  He watched, as he finished his follow through, as the batter’s knees buckled followed by a late swing.  The ball bounced in the dirt just after the plate and Pete scooped it.  Strike one.  Pete stood, threw the ball back with force, and Aaron turned to take his place on the mound.

Aaron looked again at his coach.  He wanted to remember him like this.  To snap the picture and file it to find again and again.  He needed to also remember to truly thank him.  And to ask him if he were well.  It seemed to him Coach had always asked him and he’d never returned the favor.  He needed to finish this batter and ask him if he were well and to not forget.  Two more strikes and he could.

**

Doug grabbed at the infield dirt with his right hand.  He tossed it away and rubbed his hand on his thigh then slapped his glove on his left thigh to make things even and right.  He looked at me a while, he thought.  Now why’d he do that?  Does he know?  He can’t know.  No one knows.  But he’s damn smart.  What if he knows?  If he knows, then what would he do with knowing?

He liked Aaron.  He wasn’t jealous of how Aaron drew people’s attention to him without trying.  He enjoyed it.  Aaron was easily himself and he wanted to learn to be more of that rather than feel the anger that lived in him.  He needed to learn.  But, not if everyone knows.  He couldn’t tell anyone in the school.  What do they know?  They think Aaron’s stupid because he can’t figure a math problem.  They’d ruin him.

**

He can sling it.  I bet he’ll throw it right down the middle.  I bet he will.  I’ll sit on this dead-red and close my eyes if I have to, but damn if I won’t connect.  He’s not been touched all day and I know he’ll fire that thing right down the middle.  Why not?

He dug in.  He was down 0-2.  He didn’t want to be the last out of a complete game.  Not by striking out in front of all of these people.  He reminded himself to loosely handle the bat, don’t over grip, and don’t tighten up.

**

Aaron stood comfortably on the rubber.  He felt at ease and ready.  He waited until the batter was ready.  And waited longer for him to look at him.  When he was sure he tipped his hat slightly and held his eyes on him.  Now he knew the batter had seen and knew the batter understood.  He’d give him this one.  Let the cards become open for only them and let’s see how they fall.

Aaron started his motion.  He felt his leg kick high into his chest and nearly to his chin, then lower toward the catcher.  His arm moved through the L-Position and his fingers held the seams properly for a straight fast ball.  He let his mind free and his body work.  The batter swung and connected sharply.  Aaron swiped the grass during his last follow through and felt his leg whip across his body and come to rest.  The batter tore out of the box running hard for first.  The ball was scolded down third base line.  Doug was in mid-air diving full out when he retrieved the ball on a hop and landed while sliding in the infield dirt and seemingly springing up at the same moment.  His strong arm flung the ball through the air as though it were on a line meant for this one moment.

**

Aaron walked off the field as his teammates rushed the diamond to celebrate Doug’s victory throw.  Aaron saw one person.  Coach.  He needed to ask him if he was well and to thank him.  The dug-out had exploded with cheers and the people watching were clapping and shouting their reward to the players.  Coach stood leaning against the side of the dug-out smiling.  Coach was a grizzly bearded man with the largest of hearts.

As Aaron approached, Coach held out his hand.  They stood looking and seeing one another and shook hands.  ‘Well done, Aaron.’

‘Are you well?’ Aaron asked Coach.

‘Don’t.  Let’s not worry about that.  Even if I weren’t, I’ll be soon.  You don’t need them,’ Coach said waving at the scout with the radar in his hand.  ‘Baseball will always be there for you.’

‘I can’t get in.  Maybe the scout is my only option.’

‘The hell you can’t.  I’ll help.  I’ve already contacted a few colleges on your behalf and I’m not done.  I have a list of division II and III coaches to contact next week.  Let me do that for you.’

‘I don’t know.  I can’t get past the numbers.’

‘Hell with numbers.  It’s not whether or not you can figure them properly, it’s how you think of them critically.  And if anyone with a brain sees what you do in life doesn’t realize you’ve outgrown the use of numbers hiding in a test, they aren’t worth your time.  You can be more without baseball than you can with only baseball.  Understand?’

The teams now rushed the moment from its usefulness and brought both Aaron and Coach to their next.  Players and friends crowded the dug-out and gave thanks and smiles.  As Aaron and Coach were pulled in opposite directions, Aaron reached for Coach’s shoulder and yanked his shirt.  Coach was being pulled away while straining his head to hear Aaron.  Coach nodded his head to listen.

‘Thank you.’ Aaron said.  ‘Truly, thank you.’

 

 

Thank you for reading.  Share freely.  Please give credit.  If you enjoyed this short story you might also enjoy my self-published story ‘Don’t Be a Sally’ found via the amazon link below.

Goodbye 12/9/14

On Wednesday evening I returned. I was driving through the lights and noise and cement. All of which I dislike. The storm was a mixture of rain and sleet. New England is gearing up for another winter. I’m stuck in near gridlock traffic while traveling one of the major corridors through Hartford, CT. I’m traveling south east, toward the beach where I live.

This weather and traffic mirrored my internal conflict. I’d left my best friend alone. He lost his father unexpectedly. I spent the night on his couch after the service. The service was outside in a New England ice storm. Many people were again without power. We stood soaking wet and watched as his father was laid to rest. Death becomes us all. I’m unafraid of death. I watched as my friend struck the dirt with a shovel in hand and flung it down onto his father. It landed loudly on the coffin. He is the only son and he was the first with the shovel. I watched his sister do the same, then others. When I held the shovel I said ‘you son of a bitch’ and dropped the dirt. I feel he’s never gone, we’re never gone.

I had more to say to him, face-to-face. As did everyone standing in the storm. We weren’t done with him. Now we speak to him in our minds and at our symbols.  He could be a chair. We sit on him and make him listen.  I needed to tell him that he’s in my book and that I see the best of him. I don’t see the needle. I don’t see the self harm. I don’t care. I see the man that we all loved, still love and still talk to. I called him a son of a bitch because I am selfish and I wanted to tell him he was in my book. Now he knows. I’m on a chair and I’m making him listen.

His son held his drink high. He wanted to cheers our friendship and his father.  It was left over spit from chew. He asked what was wrong with the whiskey. We said nothing, drink the rest fast. He asked why the whiskey smelled odd. He son doesn’t drink. He doesn’t needle. He works with children and is a Saint.  His son is my best friend and just drank the spit of chew that was left behind by another. Now he wants to know what’s wrong with the whiskey and we laugh harder than possible and cheers his father because his son is now running for the toilet to be rid of rotten whiskey that isn’t whiskey and we know this moment will be forever. His father is gone but watching. His father knows his son is a Saint.

I’m driving through a New England storm to return. My friend is home, alone for the first time since the service. I’m thinking of him and of life and death. I reach out the window and take a picture. So many lights. Some are already dead.

Bodies in the Basement – A Short Story

Written by M. Taggart 10/17/14

Fiction: A Halloween style tale.

Copyright 2014 by Matt Taggart, aka -M. Taggart

Bodies in the Basement

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 boy’s 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.”

“Why not? Ain’t they worried someone will steal something?”

“My dad says people never steal from the Church. Besides, sometimes people are there at night praying. I’ve been inside late at night and saw the Priest standing in front of the pipe organ, touching the keys.  He was staring at them and his lips were moving.”

“What was he saying?”

“I don’t know, he looked very serious. I left.”

Looking up the hill at the Church, Aaron approached Colin slowly. “Do you ever feel as though you can run faster in this?”

“In what?”

“In the night. An October night.  I feel as though I can run faster than anyone and that nothing can catch me.” Said Aaron.

“Maybe you’ll need to run tonight?  What will you do if we find the morgue?  I might open one, just to be sure.”

“I’ll open one.  I’m not scared.  I’d even look at a body if there was one to see.”

“I don’t know about that.” Said Colin.

“We both looked at the baby in the jar.”

“That was different. It was in a jar in the science building.”

Colin’s hands felt clammy. He rubbed them on his jeans. He knew Aaron meant it. He’d open and look. The darkness had taken over the trail leading back to his home and he felt an uneasiness in his gut.

“You O.K?” Asked Aaron.

“Yea.  I’m alright.”

They walked without talking and covered much of the distance left between themselves and the Church.  Grass grew as tall as their shoulders on each side of the path. Aaron touched the top of the grass with his fingertips. He liked the feeling of the small droplets of water sticking to him. He wondered if they’d find the morgue. He thought about how the bodies would by lying there still and alone.

 

Chapter Two-   Down We Go

 

Colin stood outside the Church. He raised his hand to the door knob and asked, “Are you sure you want to go in?”

“What? Are you scared?”

“I’m not scared.”

“You seem scared.  Like when April wanted to kiss you in the hallway at school, outside the library, before Mr. S was able to see.”

“Nu-ah, I wasn’t scared then either.  It’s that she’s going into seventh grade next year and she’ll forget all about me and I don’t know.”

Aaron pushed past Colin, leaned his forehead against the door and twisted the knob. The Church smelled of old hard wood floors that had been swept and polished constantly. The pews waited patiently for the boys to seat themselves.

The boys had entered silently through a door at the back the Church. “Did you notice the Church is empty?” Asked Colin in a hushed voice.

The interior of the Church wasn’t unlike most in New England. Wooden floors, tall ceilings, and beautiful stained glass windows depicting Christ, God and angels. The pipe organ was at the front of the Church, past the line of pews. They walked with ease. Two dim lights were left on at the head of the Church.

Aaron, now standing at the Priest’s pulpit, tried to imagine what the Church might feel like when full.  Did many people pray? Did they sing?

A floor board popped in the silence, making an odd echo. “What do you think happens when you die?” Asked Aaron.

“I think we go to Heaven.”

“Yea, but, how do you know?”

“It’s not that I know, it’s that I believe. I have faith.”

Aaron left the pulpit, walked down the center aisle, and sat down in a pew. He wondered what faith was and how it worked. Colin was always sure of things, but he wasn’t. He knew what he saw.

“Let’s open the basement door and see what’s to see.” Said Colin.

“Let’s.” Replied Aaron.

The wooden door leading to the basement was thick and etched with Latin phrases. “What do you think it says?” Asked Aaron.

“I don’t know. Maybe it says keep out?”

“Come on. Are you getting scared? Do you want to back out?”

“I’m not backing out. Let’s go.”

“You said you wanted to go first. Go ahead.”

Colin opened the heavy door.  A rush of dank air flew from the basement and through them completely.

“You smell that?” Asked Aaron.

“I couldn’t miss it. That was horrid.”

“You going down first, like you said?”

Colin paused then stepped down. Again, his stomach turned sour.  Feeling the inside of the stairwell’s wall, he found a switch.  Light sprang from his fingers moment of inspiration, lighting their way to the unforgiven. The boys flung themselves down the stairs without care.

The stairs lead them to an open room with a metal table and a chalk board. ‘Don’t forget to Pray’ was written on the board. On the table were a number of Bibles. The Bibles were spaced out for children to read. The seats were small with wooden backs and metal frames. Aaron imagined the children following along with their catechist, but not reading. Maybe one or two would have a question, but most would look forward to being outside, he thought.

Colin was thumbing through a filing cabinet that was pressed neatly against the wall. On the far side of the room was another door. “See, it’s just a classroom.” Said Colin.

“I guess. I wonder what that door leads too.” Said Aaron, pointing.

“Probably another room just like this.” Colin ran toward the door and flung it open.

The room was very dark.  Enough light was streaming through the doorway to show a long line of cabinets built into the walls. Colin froze. Aaron, now by Colin’s side, let out a small whistle. “What the hell is that?” Aaron asked while stepping inside. Colin followed and wasn’t completely sure. It was difficult to see, but it seemed as though the room was filled with metal cabinets with handles. The room didn’t have windows. It felt cold and silent.

Aaron crossed the room, felt one of the metal handles and said, “I wonder if this is it? I wonder if there’s a body in here.”

The lights went out. Chaos took over.  Each moment was a moment too long. Shuffling feet and grunting took over the room. They were in complete darkness. “Let’s get the hell out of here!” Colin yelled.

Aaron didn’t reply, he was sure he could find his way out. He thought it was like being at the bottom of the ravine at night. He knew there was a way, but he couldn’t always see the path.

Colin felt the room start to spin. He thought he’d found the way out, but was fooled. The air around him felt heavy. Sick to his stomach he doubled over, vomited, and sank to the floor.

“Colin, are you alright? I can’t see a damn thing.”

“I’m fine. Just dizzy. This darkness got to me. I don’t know where the doorway is.”

“Me neither.  But I think I’ll find it soon.  If you can, follow me.” Aaron said.  He heard feet scuffing toward him. As he felt along the wall, he touched numerous handles, all metal. He knew what they were. He’d lost interest in opening one. The wall was cold and the room smelled rancid. Slowly he moved feeling his way through the darkness. He was sure the doorway was only a short distance from him. He could feel that Colin had found him. He could feel Colin’s hand nearly pushing him from behind. Colin’s hand felt wet with vomit on his back. Give me a minute, he thought. I’ll find the way out.

Creeping along, feeling another metal handle, another line in the cold wall, and then, an open cabinet.  Aaron paused, remembering there hadn’t been an open cabinet when they entered the room. “Colin. We need to go.” He strained to hear Colin’s response. He felt a whisper near his ear. The hair on the back of his neck bristled.

“You’re telling me.” Colin replied from the middle of the room. He hadn’t gotten up from where he’d been sick. “You find the doorway yet?” He asked.

A chilling breeze made its way down Aaron’s neck, then back. Aaron slammed the cabinet shut and rushed forward. “There’s something in here; something touched me.”

“What?” Said Colin, as he scrambled to his feet. He heard the tension in Aaron’s voice and knew something had happened. He thought he’d heard something close shut near Aaron. “What was that noise?”

Aaron’s mind raced.  What had opened the cabinet? What was behind him? “I slammed one shut. Don’t, let’s not talk about it. Let’s get the hell out!” Aaron fumbled his way, as fast as he could, while still feeling the wall.

Finally, a hinge and the doorway. Aaron ran past the table with the Bibles and sprinted up the basement stairs and nearly flew out of the Church. Panting and running he didn’t slow his pace until he was at the bottom of the steep hill, at the edge of the footpath.  Colin was behind him. Colin hung on his knees searching for his breath.  Both could smell Colin’s sickness.

The sky broke open with moonlight. They could see one another easily.

Colin stopped breathing between his knees and stood up. “What happened?”

“I’m not sure.”

“You said something was in there. What was in there?”

“I don’t know. Something touched my back, I thought it was you.” Aaron turned as if to show Colin, “I felt something wet.” He pulled at his shirt and tried to look while showing his back to Colin.

“Take it off! Take your shirt off!” Colin started pulling at Aaron’s shirt, ripping the shirt up and over Aaron’s head and chucked to the ground. “There’s something on it.” Colin said. Colin started to kick at the shirt, trying to spread it for Aaron to see.

Aaron picked the shirt up, held it in front of him, and then let it drop back to the ground. “What in the hell is that supposed to mean?” There was an outline of a large wet hand on the back of his shirt. Under the outline was the same message that was written on the basement door.

The boys looked up the hill at the Church. The door they had fled from was closed. “Did you close the door?” Asked Aaron.

“I don’t know.”

The clouds covered the moon. It was terribly dark. They heard the Church door creak open.

 

 

Story notes: The prep school campus, science building, church and footpath are all factual. The rumors of a morgue located in the basement of the Church, did float around our elementary school. The story of the boy’s adventure, fiction. The morgue in the Church basement… –M. Taggart.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like to read ‘Don’t Be A Sally- Based on True Events’ a self-published short story found on amazon and in your iBook store.

Don’t Be A Sally on amazon: