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.

-M. Taggart

Maine Coast

Today we travel to a remote portion along the Maine coastline. Megan and I will show little Gavin gorgeous scenery that he’ll not remember. He’s one. 🙂 and wicked cute.

I wanted to again invite anyone interested in joining the ‘Share Your Creative Work’ facebook page I created. It gives your blog posts more exposure.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/204996876504537/

Also, if interested, I’d like to invite you to ‘like’ my facebook writing page.

https://www.facebook.com/Matthew.Taggart.777/

While I’m gone, please raise an adult beverage and cheers me!

Matt

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A harbor along the Maine coast. Photo credit: usharbors.com

The Noble Seagull – Flash Fiction

Written by M. Taggart

Fiction:  This short story is much about unconscious societal behavior.

Copyright 2015 by Matt Taggart, aka -M. Taggart

The Noble Seagull

The sand was hottest when his feet left the shelter of his beach towel.  He placed his toes in the sand to feel its sting.  The sun was high and bruising.  His mother had lathered him with sunscreen lotion.  He smelled like a hospital room.  His mother was sitting in a beach chair next to him.  She was on her phone talking to her sister.  Her voice arched upward when needing to alert her sister just how much she understood.

He watched a grey and white seagull walk toward a bag of chips not far from him.  The bag was left open by a family that had gone to swim and be in the waves.  The seagull had a large puffed-out chest and dark flecks of color around its eyes.  It was a large bird.  He liked the bird and noticed the size of its webbed feet.  Its feet look very sure of each step even if its eyes did not.  He wanted to ask his mother what seagull feet were called but she was still on the phone.

Now other seagulls were flying overhead and squawking at the one below.  He watched as they circled and then dove down.  His bird flapped its wings at the approaching competition.  It was as though he were watching a dance.  Though, he knew this dance wasn’t an ordinary dance.  If the family came back, they’d surely chase the seagull away and he wouldn’t eat the chips.  If another bird pushed him away then his bird would need to find another bag and start the process over.  Just now his bird strained his neck and opened his large wings while he pulled a number of chips from the bag.  The seagull snapped at the chips and they were quickly gone.  Its darting eyes now found a number of his brethren had landed near him and were coming closer with agitated motions.

The boy looked from the mass of seagulls surrounding the bag of chips to other families lying on spread out blankets and beach chairs.  Each family had brought food.  Some of the food was kept cool in plastic coolers with ice in them.  Others brought food in plastic bags that didn’t need to be cooled.  Near the sand dunes were overflowing metal trash barrels.  Seagulls were pulling at the plastic bags to break rotting food loose.  People ran and jumped into the ocean and smiled while splashing one another.  Fathers asked daughters to come out deeper where the big waves were.  Mothers dared their sons to pick up seaweed and wear it on their heads.  The seagulls walked and flew in between them all.

His seagull flapped its wings and charged another while squawking then dashed quickly back and clasped the end of the bag then lifted; each remaining chip now lay in the sand.  A great chorus of squealing birds erupted.  The boy thought he read sadness in the bird’s eyes. A strong sea wind flipped a number of the noble seagull’s feathers backward.  The onslaught was too much for any one bird to defend.  He snatched a few large chips and took flight.  He watched the seagull soar into the air and wanted to know where it would go.  He thought the bird flew with dignity and he hoped he would live a long life and not become too cold during winter.   The bird flew near the overflowing metal trash barrels and then over the top of the wooden steps leading to the beach bathrooms and then was gone.

A thrashing took place over the upturned bag of chips.  Only a few oily crumbs were left in the sand.  The birds fought over the empty bag.

‘Get out of here!  Nasty sky-rats!’ his mother shouted.  She held her phone away as not to yell loudly in her sister’s ear.  ‘Honey, those are nasty birds.  They are scum.  Get up and chase them away.’ His mother went back to talking with her sister.  She hadn’t known he made a new friend.  She didn’t realize he thought his bird was noble and walked with sure steps.  He didn’t ask what the seagulls webbed feet were called.

 

(Note: I’m considering a second chapter.  Feedback would be appreciated.)

If you enjoyed this short story you might also enjoy my self published short story found via the link below.

It Hides Itself with Seasons – New England

It’s crisp with crunching leaves then humid with summer nights.  Its snow is deep and winters long with flowers growing wild in the spring.  It hides itself with seasons.  New England.  -M. Taggart

Shelburne Falls, MA, across from the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html
Shelburne Falls, MA.  Home of the famous bridge of flowers. This hidden town is worth a visit. Photograph courtesy of Robert Ford. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/fall-colors-shelburne-falls-massachusetts-robert-ford.html
Westerly, RI. A well known path by locals.
Westerly, RI.  A well known path by locals.
Hills of CT- Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.
Roughly 30 minutes from Mystic, CT.
Montague, MA. Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father's favorite fishing holes.
Montague, MA.  Long before this old mill was transformed into a rustic pub it was among my father’s favorite fishing holes.
Rangeley, ME. You can't get there from here.
Rangeley, ME.  You can’t get there from here.
Somewhere near Greenville, ME. A bit of a hidden spot where George has taught me to fly fish.
Somewhere near Greenville, ME.  A bit of a hidden location where I was taught to fly fish.
Ninigret Park. Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.
Ninigret Park.   Charlestown, RI. Photo taken from one of the paths overlooking the salt water pond.
Gill, MA. My home town. Tom Brady once sent his Realtor to view the estate on settled on top of this hill.
Gill, MA.  My home town. Tom Brady once sent a contact to view the estate settled on top of this hill.
Block Island, RI. Where I accidentally fell in love.
Block Island, RI. Where I fell in love with a silhouette.

copyright M. Taggart.  Feel free to share this article by forwarding the link.

You can find my self published book via the amazon link below-

A letter to Gavin – Our soon to be born little man.

Gavin,

Your due date is August 28th, 2015. Though I’ve guessed that you’ll be born on the 17th. Soon we’ll know. We live on the coast and plan on bringing you to the ocean when it’s safe to do so. It has been a mild summer to this point. Perhaps you’ll see large waves from a storm that’s out to sea.  Winds from storms push waves higher and sometimes too high and they become destructive but are beautiful. Though, nothing is more destructive than man. We’ll talk about that at length.

Over the past few weekends we’ve prepared your room. Your mother picked two colors and the painting is complete. I’m unable to correctly see the light green but the blue is very nice. Your Aunt Shannon helped paint. In fact, she did the largest amount and was a great help. Your aunt lives a few miles from us and has been visiting often. There are a number of people waiting to meet you.

Especially your mother and I. You move more now than ever. We watch you create impressions on your mothers stomach. And yesterday we watched you via an ultra sound screen and you moved nearly non stop. We saw your feet kick and your hands open and close. We said hello. You’re doing great.

The fact is we’ve been waiting for you longer than nine months. We’ve been waiting for years. I’ve been waiting for you longer even than I’ve known your mother. It’s difficult to explain. I was meant to be a father and Megan was meant to be a mother. Finally we will be and it’s thanks to you.

You’re room is nearly finished. All that’s left to do is to place a few items on the walls. I’ll tell you something that you can poke fun at me with later. I didn’t want to paint your room. I thought the existing paint was nice and the color fine. Your mother wasn’t impressed with me. She was right. So now your room is two different colors and it’s what it should be. I was wrong.

In your room is a sliding chair. It’s a bit of a combination between a traditional rocking chair and a slider with a foot stool. The stool also slides. In the morning I take my coffee into your room and I sit on the chair and make it slide. I look at your crib and I imagine you standing there wanting to come out. I will see this soon. I still need to find a fitting Boston Red Sox hat for you. I’d like to see you standing in your crib with that on. And while you look at me I’ll explain to you who the best baseball pitcher in my lifetime is. His name is Pedro Martinez. Yesterday Pedro was elected to the baseball hall of fame.

I coached baseball for a number of years. Pedro was in his prime while I was coaching. For a time, Pedro had nearly perfect mechanics. I would study his pitching motion and try my best to coach his motion to players of his similar build. Though your Uncle Phil was built more like Roger Clemens and I coached him mainly using Roger’s mechanics. Your uncle was much better than I was at baseball. A few colleges wanted him to play for them. But, that’s another story.

Your mother had the baby shower at the Bridge. It’s not an actually bridge. It’s a nice restaurant that overhangs the canal and it’s near a bridge. There’s a room upstairs that can be rented for occasions such as a baby shower. Your great grandmother, Avis, both grandmothers, and all of your aunts were there. Your mother was told that she looked like a pregnant model. I know this because when I arrived at the end of the baby shower an employee told me the story. Below is a picture of your mother during your baby shower. I’ve mentioned before that your mother is beautiful. It’s hard to believe she is nearly 8 months along in this picture.

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Sometimes at night, I write. And if I come out of my office to find your mother she’s almost always in your room. A few nights ago I found her folding your clothes.

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I would not miss this process for anything. From the moment we found out to when your mother starting to show to the first time I saw you move with my own eyes. Sometimes I put my ear to your mothers stomach and listen to you. If I try and focus I believe I’ve heard your heart beat many times.

See you soon, Gavin.

Ocean Early

There’s something about early morning and the ocean.

This morning, I drove to the corner market place after realizing I was out of coffee filters. I was early; the store wasn’t yet open. I drove another three minutes to the jetty. The light was nice and I fought with my broken phone to take this picture. I thought others might like to see.

Cheers-

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