The Waiting Game

Here I am sitting in line at the car wash
feeling guilty for not writing.
In fact, it’s much more than that.
I haven’t submitted anything so far this year.
As many of you know, it’s a long waiting game,
and not submitting makes the waiting all
that much longer. However, I also need to remind
myself that while writing I need to remember to live.
And it’s OK to take time for both.

Soon the submitting will begin again.
It’s what writers do.

-M. Taggart

My published work:
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

It all started with a hug.

He ran to the school bus. His backpack is a bit heavy, so while he ran he teetered left toward the culvert due to the slope of the mountainside we live on. As he ran his hair bounced on the top of his head. He didn’t fall into the culvert and he didn’t stumble climbing the school bus steps. He was full steam ahead and smiling. He turned four years old four days ago and now he’s on the bus for his first day of school. He waved to us as the bus drove higher into the mountain.

And with him leaving I felt empty. Megan began to cry and said, “I didn’t think I would cry, but I am.”

I was Gavin’s full time care giver from 0-3 years of age. My career declined, I didn’t care. Still don’t. From 3-4 he did go to daycare three days a week. I had my little guy two days per week and recently we took him out of daycare so I could have him back, all to myself, before school started.

I didn’t have a father when I was his age.

From 0 to roughly six months was the most difficult for me. I’m not sure everything was always natural. Loving him was, and holding him and feeding him. Putting his clothes on was not. My fingers are too big for infant clothing and I would become frustrated when I couldn’t get his tiny arms or legs into the clothing. Especially if he was cold and I wanted him to be warm.

I remember many morning simply sitting on the living room floor with him in between my legs. I would sit and stretch my legs into a V and he would bounce around and roll and explore the best he could. Eventually he stood. I have a photo of the first time he grabbed onto a couch cushion and pulled himself into the standing position. It wasn’t long after that he was running and jumping off of the couch. Lots of time outs.

One morning, while changing him, he coughed so hard it sounded like a bark and he couldn’t catch his breath. A funny wheezing sound followed by a another barking cough and difficulty breathing; I thought I was losing him. I held him close to my chest to calm him. He seemed to be afraid an panicking. This was among the most scared I have ever been as a parent. I was alone and needed a doctor and the infant I was holding was in pain and badly sick. Croup with stridor, a double ear infection and a fever doesn’t bode well for small bodies. It hit so suddenly, the sickness, and with such force that I began to cry while dialing the doctors office. I told myself to calm down and I did, but it was hard to speak.

And just now we watched Gavin run, with his backpack on, toward the bus, which was parked on an incline, as he teetered toward the culvert and steamrolled his way onto the bus. Ready for his new chapter.

And I sit and write and relive the entire thing. Since day one.

Matt

first day of school

Published Stories

I look at the physical copies and smile.
It’s not easy to gain traction in the industry of writing.
It just isn’t.
There are thousands of writers in different countries
that are incredible and the world will never know.
So, for me to have gained at least this amount of traction,
I am pleased. I am not done though. There is much to do.
I’ll keep being comfortably me. And I’ll continue to smile
at the two books.

-M. Taggart

If you are interested in what the stories are about, or purchasing one of the books, reach out to me and I’ll send the information. Cheers!

Short Story Up

Here’s half of the Woah!! News:

My 5,000 word short story, Screaming Hills, has been published by, Z Publishing House, in their America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers: Northeast Region, 2019. This is a continuation of the first chapter, which was originally published by Z Publishing House in 2018. This short story is about the reality of every day life and struggles of small town America. Especially the mill town regions of the North East. The story is fiction, but may feel like non-fiction as it contains content concerning drug use, alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety; along with the failed economic structures of these towns. However, the story also drives toward hope and determination to succeed while pushing through the fog, toward personal development and happiness.

I do dive into philosophy and where ideals intersects with humanity. The writing is edgy. I’m surprised and massively thankful they accepted this piece.

My short story is within the “America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers: Northeast Region” via the link below.

http://www.zpublishinghouse.com?rfsn=2669705.c7990a

If you enjoy my writing, consider reading this story. It’s possibly only the beginning, of the beginning.

I am beyond excited-

Cheers everyone!

Matt

 

The Motionless Moose – A Short Story

The Motionless Moose
Written by -M. Taggart
Fiction. 4/14/19

The Motionless Moose

 

The lake reflected the moon in shimmering splinters as the wind pushed waves inland and finally to his feet. The wind drove directly at the camp from the Northwest. He couldn’t smell the campfire, although he could hear the flickering of the flames just after one of the men shuffled the burning logs around. They were constantly doing this while complaining about how no one could keep a fire going.

That’s the thing about being at camp, he thought. We are in the middle of no where and the owner insisted that we use the metal fire bin with wildlife depicted on the side. They don’t work. The airflow is stifled toward the bottom. He had mentioned that they should drill holes at the bottom of the fire bin for better airflow and was scoffed at. It was always like this. Or, they would talk around him. He left the fire, and them, and brought a chair to the foot of the lake to watch the wind push the white caps around.

Only two men sat at the fire now. The rest had gone to their bunks. It was late but he didn’t want to be in the bunkhouse. They toss and turn and snore while he lays quietly and doesn’t sleep. No. He’d rather sit here and let a moose walk up to him. The wind felt nice on his face. It wasn’t cold. It felt like a comfortably blanket that moves. The waves licking at the shore landed with a calming rhythm. If he could talk with the lake he would have enough company to last the night. Sometimes he could catch a few words of the conversation at the camp fire, but he didn’t want to know what they were talking about so he tried not to listen. He could see the outline of the mountain range on the far side of the lake. He thought about the Indians who knew those mountains and traversed them hundreds of years ago. They truly knew the mountains and lakes and the game. They were not there to own it, but to be with it. He wanted to talk with them and sit at their camp fires even if he didn’t understand a word they said.

He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply bringing in all of the musty smells of the lake. He wondered if he’d be able to smell a moose or a bear if it were close enough. While his eyes were closed and the wind brushed passed his cheeks he heard a clopping sound coming from the shoreline just north of him. He opened his eyes to see a darkened image of a large moose feeding. The moose raised its long legs out of the water and dropped them back into the lake without taking its head out of the water. Just then he heard the harsh hissing sound of steam as the men were done with their night and putting the failed fire out for good. He didn’t bother calling to them. He liked seeing the moose alone. He liked that he could have this and they will know nothing about it. Even if he did tell them they wouldn’t believe him. They’d say a moose wouldn’t come this close to camp with a fire going. They’d tell him moose don’t feed at this time of night. Then they’d tell their stories about how they have seen moose and about how close they’ve gotten to them and him having seen a moose would have dissapeared all together.

The large head of the moose slowly rose from the water, tested the air, and stood motionless for a moment then again started to feed. He closed his eyes and replayed the motionless moose. He had what he needed and what he came for.

The End.

-M. Taggart

 

 

 

 

Another Short

I’ve been up to something lately, only I don’t understand what it is. I’ve been walking into empty rooms in our new house and looking at the walls. Or, out the window at the mountainside. I look to see if deer have left new tracks in the snow. I saw a coyote a few days ago in the middle of the day. That has nothing to do with what I’m trying to express.

I know I’m up to something. We have been out straight for nearly two years while the build of our new house took place. Now that we’ve moved in and I have my office space back it’s as though a part of my missing-self has been replaced. So while I’m outside shoveling snow, I feel a tugging toward my office. Toward me. Toward writing.

I love severe weather. I love the snow slamming down in frigid temperatures while the wind howls. That’s where you’ll find me, with it, in it, living to find what makes living worth while after having lived some things I never should have. But, I did. And that’s how humanity goes. Either enjoy the storm and the potential of losing power in the middle of the night, or.. Fuck it. There is no Or. Enjoy what you can before someone tries to tell you how to be. Or, what the ‘Or’ is. That’s a dangerous moment in life.

I’ll keep walking into rooms with no purpose while the rest of me figures it out. And then when that happens, it’ll have happened.

Cheers my friends.

Matt

About: https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/m-taggart/

Paranoia’s Self Doubt is Truth – Short Story

Written by –M. Taggart
Paranoia’s Self Doubt is Truth
A short story: Fiction
12/19/18

 

“You don’t need to sit in here, you know. You can move the game outside.” Sandy said. “There’s that little table just on the other side of the window.”

The beer looked like it always did. She slid it to him on the bar. A light streak of whitish foam trailed the bottom of the pint glass.

“Do you want us to move outside?”

“I’m just saying you don’t need to stay in here.”

“I think I’m fine.”

A few of the men sitting at the bar were listening. They didn’t look at him directly, but he knew they were. He turned from the bar and walked to the chess game. Sunny was waiting for him. Ed sat at the end of the table acting as a referee of sorts. “He hasn’t moved a thing. I made sure of it.”

“I wouldn’t move a thing even if you weren’t here. You know I wouldn’t. I’m not a cheater. Are you saying I’m a cheat?” Sunny’s brow made sure Ed understood.

“I didn’t say that. I said you didn’t move a thing. Calm down.”

“I am calm. Maybe keep your nose out of this game.”

As Andi sat he thought he caught two men at the bar watching him. The men leaned in close to one another and shared a secret then glanced in their direction. “Go ahead and move.”

Sunny moved his knight into position to take his rook. “Think you’ll care about that being gone?”

“I’m not sure. Give me a minute and we’ll see. Do you know the two guys sitting at the right of the bar?”

“I know one of them.” Said Ed. “Comes in once and a while. Knows that guy you said you helped strip his roof.”

Andi squinted while looking down at the chess board. Knowing his next move, he waited, purposefully while the memory of the roof project streamed. It hadn’t gone well and ended badly.

“You gonna move?”

“Do you know him too?” Andi asked Sunny.

“Yea, I know him. You gonna move?”

Andi moved his queen into position to take Sunny’s knight if Sunny decided to take his rook.

“Why you worried about him? He’s not doing anything to you.”

“I didn’t say I was worried about him. Why’d you bother with that? I asked if you knew him.” The bar seemed to pull its walls closer to him. He looked at Sandy, she was looking directly at him. There was no missing it. She had been waiting for him to look. She nodded slightly toward the door. The two men had been watching Sandy and now turned to look at Andi and the chess game. One of the men slapped the bar and let out a cackle of laughter, “who fucking plays chess at a bar?”

“Your move.” Andi told Sunny. “You hear what one of them just said?”

“Hear what? A man laugh. So what. You think that’s something odd, Ed?”

“Nope. I don’t. I don’t see much in that at all.”

Sunny moved to take the rook. Andi immediately moved his queen to take the knight. “Your move.”

“I see that. Don’t you think I see that?”

“Maybe I don’t care.” Andi’s face was flat.

“What the hells a matter with you?”

“You know that job didn’t go well.”

“Well, he ain’t here, is he?”

“I disagree.”

“You’re paranoid.”

“Paranoia’s self doubt is truth.”

“What the fuck does that mean.” Sunny pushed the chess board at Andi, a few of the pieces fell over.” The men at the bar turned in their bar stools. One of them stood.

“You’re a bunch of fucking assholes.” Andi stood and flung his beer into Sunny’s face as the men rushed him.

********************************************

Contact: https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/contact/

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

 

A Short Story – Hiding In Time

Hiding In Time
A Short Story
Written by  -M. Taggart
11/24/18

 

Hiding In Time

 

“Who’s this?” He tapped his pointer finger on the photograph.

I knew who it was, but didn’t answer. I studied his large, red, bulbous nose. It was crooked. I wondered how long it took to create a nose like that.

He slid another image over the metal table. The photograph was of a 1968 Mustang Fastback GT. I scanned the description. It had an S-Code 390, just like mine. “You know, I once rode in one of those. That was a long time ago and you probably don’t even know what it is. A Heavy beast. With more torque than you could handle.”

I felt the same dull sensation I always feel when a man talking to me tells me about what I know rather than asks. “Does the sun rise differently for you than me?” I replied. The man shook his head. “There’s no need of that. Really.” He then placed another clipping on top of the photo of the Mustang. “Do you know who this is?”

“Neil Armstrong.”

“Right. I remember watching him step onto the moon. I wasn’t sure if what I was seeing was real. I’m still not sure if it was. You can’t believe anything is real unless you can touch it and you certainly can’t believe what another man says is real unless you’re with him and can justify his accuracy.”

“Do you believe he was in space?”

“I do.”

The old man dug through more clippings and placed another on top of Neil. “Were you alive when this happened?”

“I was. We watched it on TV in our classroom. We all saw it blow up just after it lifted. Our teacher cried and shut the TV off. I remember it was an old TV and they wheeled it in on a metal cart.”

“It was a shame to me that she never got to walk on the moon. I think everyone was watching because of her. It’s funny to me how close we can be to having everything we want and then it can be taken away. Either by our own choice, or by another way.”

What he said made sense to me. Much like knowing when something bad is about to happen and for some reason you didn’t change direction and then the bad thing happens and you know it could have been avoided.

“This, everyone knows what this is. I’ve been there and I can tell you when I stood on the edge I realized just how small I was. That canyon wasn’t a simple thing for me to understand, it changed me. Much like being here changes a person. It can be for the better, or worse. I guess it’s up to the individual.”

The mixed accents came back, along with the setting down of food trays and the slow shuffling of feet.

“See,” the old man leaned in and lowered his voice, “The thing is to not think of it by thinking of other things.”

 

**

-M. Taggart
Copyright 2018

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

Contact:  https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/contact/