Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 16

Hello again.

In real time, I’m coming up on the close of Tag. It seemed to me I’ve been working on Tag since the earth was young, but checking my notes I see I’ve been actively working on this version since Dec 2021, which means I’m producing first draft novels about every six months, a schedule I can accept.

The operative phrase in the above is “this version.” Tag grew out of a short story which I originally wrote in 1994 and which no makes the rounds as Blood Magic, so if it seems (to me) I’ve been working on this story since the earth was young, that’s a close enough statement for me to accept as true.

In any case, continuing here with Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 16.

Previous chapters here

Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 16

Bonk! Bonk!

Nory kept his eyes on Thomas.

Bonk! Bonk!

Thomas sat under the elm holding Nory’s hammer. He pulled a piece of bread from his pocket, crumbled some and tossed to some wrens who watched him carefully.

Bonk! Bonk!

Nory ran to Byell’s orchard after seeing the body and ate the Tinker’s food.

As much as he could, anyway.

He ate so much his belly rebelled and brought it back up.

Plenty more, though. Plenty more. Eat slowly, Grnadmother Dire told him. That way the food stays down.

Bonk! Bonk!

Nory returned for his hammer and found Thomas sitting there. He stayed behind a broad oak with a split trunk covered with red, flowering persian pea vines. Nory quietly entwined himself in the loose ones and didn’t move.

Chickadees chirped and fluttered around him. He was too near the peas for them and they told him so.

Nory put a finger to his lips and frowned at them.

They found another vine and grew quiet, only when a new one arrived did they chirp their displeasure.

Nory waited.

He wanted his bright, shiny hammer.

If Thomas found it, he’d tell. He knew Nory was here earlier in the day.

Thomas would tell people Nory hurt the girl with his hammer.

Grandmother Dire would be angry at him.

Grandmother doesn’t get upset often, only when Nory makes trouble or doesn’t know what he’s doing. She gets upset to protect him. She is Nory’s friend.

Footsteps on the road.

Nory pulled back even more, not to be seen.

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