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Hazel Finds A Kitchen

technologiesHazel Klepper had been house hunting for what felt like months now.

Every single house she saw, something felt wrong to her, and this annoyed her boyfriend to no end. He just couldn’t fathom what it was she was searching for, or what tiny little detail would derail their next purchase. The bathroom doesn’t get enough natural light? There isn’t a big enough backyard for the dog? It was starting to drive him mad. Yet, Hazel kept her calm, and she kept looking; responding to listings and meeting with realtors, going to open houses and surveying the area. Only, time and time again, to come away with a sense of disappointment. She’d never find what she was looking for. So what did Hazel want? She wanted a kitchen.

As a little girl, she spent a lot of time with her grandmother, who enjoyed cooking. Hazel would sit on the counter while her grandmother baked and told her stories, and sometimes she’d even get to help make dinner or make her grandpa some lunch. These were the happiest memories Hazel had. As she got older, she would sit in the kitchen late into the evening, just to not be at home and listen to her parents scream at one another, and trying to finish her homework. Sometimes her grandpa would stay up with her, help her with history or geography, and together they’d have an absolute blast, eating snacks and talking about schoolwork. When Hazel decided she wanted to go to school to become a chef, she asked her grandmother for her recipes, but her grandmother did her one better…she showed her how to cook. She took Hazel into her kitchen, her small kitchen with the red brick floor and the old bread box, and she showed her how to make every single thing she’d ever made for her to eat, and more.

And then, during Hazels sophomore year at college, her grandparents died, mere weeks apart from one another. Her grandmother went first, as a result of an ongoing cold, and her grandfather died two weeks later, simply from heartbreak. Hazel was there when the house was being set up for sale, and she took photos of the kitchen and vowed that, one day, she would have a kitchen just like this one. But despite all the meetings, all the houses, all the months searching, Hazel still hadn’t found her kitchen.

The house she pulled up to that crisp, fall, Thursday afternoon was small, but she didn’t mind that. She preferred cozy to overly large. The realtor, a nice woman with a bob haircut named Susan, met her at the door and together they went inside. Susan showed her the living room, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the backyard, but all Hazel could feel was that this was yet another waste of time. When Susan finally showed her the kitchen, Hazel felt her heart skip a beat. This was it. The layout was almost exactly the same, give or take the position of the cabinets, and the color scheme was damn near identical. Hazel wouldn’t believe her eyes. Suddenly she didn’t care about the rest of the house, she was transported back to a feeling she hadn’t felt since childhood, and all that mattered from this point on was this kitchen. This was where she’d make dinners for her family, holiday meals for her relatives, desserts for her children. This was the place she would have a life. Hazel signed a check that afternoon and went to tell her boyfriend the good news. Sure, some of the other parts of the house needed some fixing up, but that was alright.

Because the kitchen…oh, the kitchen was perfect.

And for Hazel, that meant life would be perfect too.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Nothing Important Happened Today

It was a gloomy day in late April, in late afternoon.

Charlie Harper stood in the cool winds in her dress, hands in her overcoat pockets, as she looked down at the grave in front of her. She took one hand out and wiped her nose and glanced around the graveyard before looking back down at the headstone. If anyone had looked at her usually vibrantly blue eyes today, they’d almost appear black.

“Was it a lovely service?” a woman asked, approaching,as Charlie turned to look at her, checking her watch.

“You’re almost two hours late,” Charlie replied.

“Like he was ever on time for anything,” the woman, her sister Miranda, replied, “…where’s Mason?”

“At the car,” Charlie said, “He left his coat in the car. I told him that it would be cold, but no, he has to prove the weather wrong. Just because the sky is clear one minute doesn’t mean it’ll be fine the next.”

“God help him if he ever winds up in the eye of a tornado,” Miranda said, making Charlie smirk, “So…what was it like?”

“…it was weird, man,” Charlie said, “Really…just…weird. It’s weird to stand there and watch people sob and grieve over a monster, and they all expect you to be sad too. People act as if death deifies you, absolves you of all your wrongdoings, as if you never did them in the first place. It’s so strange. What’s worse is everyone knew what a horrible person he was and yet they still reacted this way, like he was saint of some kind who deserved better.”

“Boy, I’m sure glad I was on time,” Miranda said dryly, taking out and unwrapping an energy bar from her purse, biting into it, “Did you say anything?”

“No,” Miranda said, “They offered me the option, but I didn’t take it. I wouldn’t have known what to say. You can’t talk about how your father was a monster at this funeral, that’s just sort of frowned upon.”

“Did mom?”

“She wanted to, but she was afraid to. Understandable, I suppose. I don’t agree with it, but hell, I wasn’t going to say anything either, so who am I to judge,” Charlie said, just as Mason showed up at her side, pulling the zipper up on his coat, smiling at Miranda.

“Hey Mandy,” he said, and she waved, “What’re we talking about?”

“Societal pressures regarding familial relationships,” Miranda said.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a bitch,” Mason said, sighing, running one hand through his medium length scruffy hair and putting the other hand in his coat pocket, “After my aunt Clarence died, I had to clean out her things because nobody else would and I thought that was strange, but once I got into her belongings, reading her thoughts and stuff from diaries and whatnot, I quickly realized why nobody else wanted to expose themselves to that toxicity.”

“And yet,” Charlie said.

“And yet,” Mason picked back up, “when it comes time to send her off, suddenly everyone is crying, singing her praises, talking about all the good she’s done, as if that cancels out all the terrible things she did. It was so weird to see. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Was it for public performance? As a family unit, are you supposed to love and support one another, but then in private you can turn right around and talk about what a scumbag Cousin Tom is? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, and I likely never will.”

“I remember,” Miranda said, eating most of the energy bar and handing it to Mason, who happily took and finished it, “being, I guess, like, fourteen? Yeah, that sounds about right. Anyway, I wanted to go out and see a friend of mine named Megan and dad wouldn’t let me go because it was too late at night. Now, granted, that’s understandable, but I snuck out and went anyway, and when I came back, he told me I had to sleep outside if I wasn’t going to listen to him. He started locking me out of the house at night and I had to sleep in the plastic playhouse we had in the backyard, remember that one?”

“God, that thing was to tiny, you must have been cramped,” Charlie said.

“It was awful, and then he started to claim I didn’t care about the family or else I would try harder to be allowed to come back inside, like living indoors isn’t an inalienable right to a child,” Miranda said, “Sick. The man was sick.”

“I remember mom gave me some birth control in my senior year, and I had borrowed a hammer from his work bench to put some posters up in my bedroom and he went looking for it in my room, and he found the birth control and not only was he upset, but he also told me I was worth less value now because I’d so easily ‘given myself up’. I never told him mom gave it to me. I didn’t want her to have to deal with that, because the way I saw it, she had to deal with his maniacal ass every day as it was, so.”

“I am so glad my parents didn’t hate me,” Mason said, “Hearing these sorts of things, it really makes me appreciate what I had growing up. This sounds awful.”

The three of them stood there for a few moments, feeling the light drizzle of rain starting to hit their faces. Mason sighed and shook his head.

“I guess the question really ends up being, do you let someone off the hook just because they’re dead, or do you always hold them accountable for their wrongdoings? I mean, it’s hard once they die because they can’t technically atone for anything, they can’t better themselves, you know? They’re dead. At least if they were alive, you have the possibility that they might try and get better, but who knows, I guess,” Mason said.

“I think it comes down to how you feel personally,” Charlie said, “I…I can’t forgive him. Maybe at some point down the road I’ll feel comfortable enough to, but not now.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Miranda said, “And frankly, I doubt he ever would’ve changed. He wasn’t the kind of person to change.”

“Hello,” a young woman named Aubrey said, standing behind the headstone, as they all looked towards her, surprised by her sudden appearance. She pushed her bangs out of her face and exhaled, looking at each one of them before adding, “Am I interrupting?”

“Not really,” Charlie said, “Can we help you?”

“I’m…I guess I missed the service but that’s okay, I don’t know how comfortable I would’ve been anyway. I read about his death in the papers and wanted to come,” Aubrey said, “I never got to meet him.”

“Did you know him?” Miranda asked, her brow furrowing.

“He was my dad, apparently,” Aubrey replied, running her coral fingernails on the top of the headstone, “Um…I never, like I said, I never got to meet him, but I felt like I should at least come say goodbye, or something. Are you guys related to him?”

“We’re his kids,” Miranda said, “Except for Mason,” she added, pointing at him.

“What was he like?” Aubrey asked, smiling, pushing hair behind her ear.

Charlie was hit with a sudden wave of nausea. What was her moral responsibility here? Cover up this mans awful behaviors to another young woman, or let her believe that her father was a wonderful man? She hadn’t met him. She could build him up into a hero for herself, someone to admire, aspire to be like, someone she really needed. Miranda opened her mouth to respond, but Charlie beat her to it.

“He was very smart,” Charlie said, “He was a very smart, disciplined person, very dedicated to his work. His coworkers all loved him.”

If she had to talk about him, why not sing praises that were actually true? At least she wasn’t lying.

“All my mother ever told me about him was that they were together one night, resulting in me, and that he had always wanted a daughter but didn’t feel like he was prepared to handle it. I don’t think they ever spoke after I was born. I think she thought it’d be better that way, for both of us.”

Miranda felt a pang of anger towards their own mother; why had this girls mother saved her from having to live through the abuse they had to endure? That wasn’t fair. But then, it also wasn’t fair to be mad at the girl, for she’d done nothing wrong than be conceived by a monster, and then given the chance to avoid his horrid abuse.

“He wasn’t really ready for us, either,” Miranda said, adding to Charlies truth now, “So, you’re not alone in that. We were going to go for some lunch, if you’d like to join us, we can talk about him more.”

“I’d like that a lot,” Aubrey said, smiling as they all started walking back to the parking lot. As they got further away from the graveyard, Miranda’s cell phone rang, and she fished it from her purse, answering.

“Hello?” she asked, stopping and letting the others go ahead of her so she could speak in private, “Yes, I’m just going to get some lunch and then I’ll be back to finish the presentation. I know, I’m sorry, I had some errands to run. No, no, it was nothing important. I’ll see you shortly.”

With that, she ended the call, put the phone back in her purse and headed to her car.

[this is a repost from a Medium article I wrote]

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Nothing Important Happened Today

I wrote a short story over at Medium. Here’s a little excerpt:

“Hey Mandy,” he said, and she waved, “What’re we talking about?”

“Societal pressures regarding familial relationships,” Miranda said.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a bitch,” Mason said, sighing, running one hand through his medium length scruffy hair and putting the other hand in his coat pocket, “After my aunt Clarence died, I had to clean out her things because nobody else would and I thought that was strange, but once I got into her belongings, reading her thoughts and stuff from diaries and whatnot, I quickly realized why nobody else wanted to expose themselves to that toxicity.”

“And yet,” Charlie said.

“And yet,” Mason picked back up, “when it comes time to send her off, suddenly everyone is crying, singing her praises, talking about all the good she’s done, as if that cancels out all the terrible things she did. It was so weird to see. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Was it for public performance? As a family unit, are you supposed to love and support one another, but then in private you can turn right around and talk about what a scumbag Cousin Tom is? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, and I likely never will.”

It’s about families, relationships, abuse, death and all that good stuff we’ve come to know and love. So, if you’re interested, you can read the entire thing right here. Enjoy.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Sad Stories For Unhappy People

Sad Stories For Unhappy PeopleI have a brand new short fiction collection out! This past year, I’ve been writing and releasing short stories over at my Payhip, and now I’ve collected all 7 of them, plus two bonus stories, and released this new collection, all for the low price of 5 bucks! Here’s a short description:

(2018) SAD STORIES FOR UNHAPPY PEOPLE collects 7 brand new short stories, plus 2 bonus short stories, by Maggie Taylor! From a little girl who rides a raptor, to time traveling lesbians to simply trying to get a garment of clothing back from your ex, these stories run the gamut from the strange and odd to the horribly mundane. So come along on these new short stories, and don’t forget to get sad.

I also am announcing that I am FINALLY publishing and releasing physical copies of my debut novel from 2015, “You Ruined Everything”. You can check the page for it at my Big Cartel storefront. These are basically going to be printed on demand, and I will start taking orders early January. So yeah, check that out too. Remember, it’s the season of giving, so how about giving me so some money!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Chloe Empties Her Closet

technologies From the time she was five years old, the closet in Chloe Gallaghers bedroom had always been an object of fierce terror to her.

See, ever since she could remember, Chloe Gallagher had been convinced that there was a monster living inside of her closet. Now, cleaning it out the weekend before she was meant to leave for college, she couldn’t believe how wrong she’d been. Of course most children have wild, active imaginations, and a lot of children are scared of things like this; monsters under the bed, monster in the closet, a general fear of the dark and the unknown. But Chloe was no longer a child. She was almost twenty now and she was preparing to go to medical school. Standing there on that early summer evening, the late sun pouring past her blinds and splashing across her bedroom floor as she stared into the closet she was once so deathly afraid of, Chloe couldn’t help but laugh at the whole thing.

See, Chloe also wasn’t like most kids because a lot of kids don’t grow out of that monster phase so quickly. Chloe did. Sure, she was scared, but she quickly found the closet she feared of housing a monster to be a safe haven from the rest of the home that housed an actual monster; her father. She could recall so many times once she was eight years old that she and her mother had to hide in closets, specifically Chloes closet because it had such a solid lock on it, just to escape the awful man they were trapped with. Eventually, as Chloe grew older, she realized the closet could be a much better place to spend her time. It was a rather small walk in, but she made it into a cozy space. She built a little pillow fort in there, cozy with blankets and books and snacks, and she’d spend all her free time alone in that closet.

When she came to realize she was in love with her friend Charlotte, whom she’d met the previous summer during college tours her school was making Juniors and Seniors take, she didn’t want to come out of the closet. She found it to be at odds with how she usually viewed the closet to begin with; a warm, safe little space just for her. Over the next year, she accepted that the two had nothing to do with one another, and came out to her mother, who continued to give her all the love in the world. See, Chloe and her mother, they were two peas in a pod. Her mother, Enid, had been brave enough to finally stand up to her father when he attacked one night, and killed him in self defense. Because of this bravery, Chloe admired her mom, and realized if she was brave, she too could do anything, no matter what someone else told her. So Chloe coming out to her mom just re-instilled that sense of bravery Enid knew they both had to do the things they knew they had to do in order to be happy.

Chloe stepped back, hands on her hips, as she looked into the closet once more. Now empty of boxes and clothes and her little hideaway, she could see it was just that and nothing more. A closet. Just a subroom attached to a bedroom. But to her, oh it was so much more, so so much more. The thought of even using a new closet somewhere different, some random college campus somewhere…it scared her. But she knew that better things were coming, newer things were coming. From one place to another, one school to another, one closet to another.

It was, after all, just a room.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon! Donate To Our GoFundMe!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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She Rode On A Dinosaur: A Short Story

a short story(2)This months (not so) short story is out! You can buy it right here! The description is as follows:

Heidi Beuford is a 9 year old girl, and is very sick. Between doctors appointments and visits to the local history museum, she often feels scared and lost, but Luna doesn’t. Luna Bell is a strong girl who rides a raptor named Triumph, and is out to find the truth about life in her fantasy world. As Luna attempts to discover the mystery behind The Great Fish and Heidi attempts to simply survive, together, the two will learn valuable lessons about life, death, and that sometimes being scared is necessary.

It’s a bit on the longer side than I intended it to be, or as any of the other stories usually are, but it’s a pretty good one I think. Definitely the longest of the bunch this year, clocking in at just over 8k words, so, yay. Anyway, read it and help me pay my rent, yeah? Thanks!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon! Donate To Our GoFundMe!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Modern Museum Of Mistakes: Short Story

Ocean(1) Hey, Augusts short story is now out! Please buy it and help my girlfriend and I take care of some medical bills! I’m also linking our gofundme at the bottom of this page! Anyway, here’s a description of the story:

Lena Pilgrim, a woman in her late 30s, is taking on a late night security job at her local art museum as a way to make ends meet. One night, Lena finds herself with a new artist in the museum, and things quickly become strange when Lena notices the paintings on the walls start to mirror certain moments in her life, allowing her to view them in real time. Is this artist really an artist, or something more? Lena intends to find out, even if the truth hurts her.

Anyway, the story is available for purchase right here at the low, low cost of a buck fifty! Any and all sales will be extremely appreciated. Also, as I stated above, I am putting the GoFundMe my girlfriend started in here. I hate to do this sort of thing for we REALLY need the help, so if you could give anything at all, we’d be so super appreciative. Thank you so much! I promise to start updating this blog again regularly!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!