Tagger by John Taby

Tagger adjust his backpack, comfortable now, he feels the rush of adreniline leave his body. Tired, he stares accross the subway car. An older women apears standing holding her bag and with the other hand the hand rail. The man sitting next to Tagger gets up to give her his seat. She's wearing a green dress with yellow and red flower prints . Very pretty. She sits down with a thakyou, smile and a sigh. This is the longest stretch of the ride a half hour before the next stop.

Florence settles in next to Tagger, she notices his hooded silouette, the faint odor of paint, wonders, what is he up to. Reaching down into her bag to get a crossword book she glances up to see his face. An old boy or a young man, she's not quite certain. His chin rests upon his chest, mouth slightly open, is he asleep? Over his showdowed cheek rolls a solitary tear.

Now Tagger stands along side a low bed watching his mothers soft breathing. He's been there a long time. Out of her peaceful sleep she awakes eyes open seeing Tagger a faint then glowwwwwing smile comes accross her face, her dark eyes gleam. She is dying, that is understood. She rises up in her bed, raising herself up she reaches out with both hands takes Taggers face and pulls him toward her. Tagger never felt such strength, she kisses him on the forhead, the kiss lingered, lasted warm moist full of tenderness. Softly saying" my son you have everything you will ever need"
The voice from the other room dispences the spell...it is father " you must leave now or be late for class'' Tagger bends down grabs his backpack looks down on his mother, a tear streams accross her cheek,like a shooting star on a dark August night.

Out the door and in a hurry rushes Tagger down the steps accross the yard looking up he sees all is grey shades of brown and shawdow. All except where he is standing, at his feet the grass is vibrating green. This is how it is, as he walks the world comes alive brilliant colors and wonder. He runs up the hill toward the top a tree stands tall dark dead. Out of breath with legs of lead Tagger falls down resting up against the tree. Spring begins to flow into the wood, branches put forth leaves, now flowering like a suger magnolia. Song birds rest in its caring branches singing soft and sweet. Tagger falls asleep.

He struggles up and over the last and highest sand mound. Wind blowing his hair all wild. At his feet the sand is a brilliant white. He crossesthe crest of the dune. The sound of the fury came first deafening thunderings sand blowing before him now he's looking upon a raging sea. Sky dark grey streaming clouds meet the white frothing waves. Sometimes the waves turn into huge white eagles and fly circling into the sky then dive back into the sea screaching terrable and feirce.

Tagger stands still unable to move the boiling scene before him a caldron of trouble.

A hand on his shoulder turns him around, ' Father ' barely able to hear his own voice, "you found me" he shouts. He was laughing, hair blowing white against the dark sky "Yes and now I will give you my gift" Racing accross the sand laughing wildly he runs into the waiting waters. The sea rolls convulsing upon itself then stills. Tagger watches as the whole scene changes into a warm welcoming shoerline.

Flashing lights screaching sounds, Tagger blinks his eyes. His cheek is warm, resting on a soft silky green dress. A soft hand lays upon his shoulder. Jerking , he pulls himself up into his seat, blood flowing into hooded face. Florence says kindly"thats all right, you fell asleep then you fell into my lap" "I'm sorry", Tagger manages. "oh quite allright five children I raised and fifeteen gandkids, seems ther is always a tired head napping on my lap." " you looked like you needed a rest anyway" "Well thanks Ma'm "Tagger smiled. "Call me Florence, Floe for short," "and you"? "Tagger" but you may call me Tags" "Ok Tags this is my stop, every monday wednesday and friday I'll look for you to say hello"   " Yea me too if i see you I'll holler hello floe" "That will be fine" They both laugh as the subway car slows to a stop. Tagger waits for Flrence to melt into the stream of peoples. Then with a quickness almost unatural he goes onto the platform. This will be the tricky part he says to himself,and with both hands moving blurringly up down changing cans and color a dark troubling ocean scene is turning calmer a man shoulder deep in the froth, white hair blowing back toward the shore hands reaching outward and upward. Above it alla serene peaceful womans face looks down. Tagger turns her mouth into a smile as a solitary tear rolls accross her cheek sparkling as a diamond, like a shooting star across the dark August night.