All Outta Tea: Part I

To outsiders, the small British village of Glumleigh, West Yorkshire, may seem to be a dank, grey place of mediocrity, where its meagre population survive the way their ancestors had always done, tolling the harsh lands and rearing their livestock. Its inhabitants are, however, content with their simple lives, comfortable in the knowledge that their five mile wide slice of England is kept in stable balance through simple hard work and the following of tradition. The people of Glumleigh also make sure not to dream of better lives so as to avoid such dreams being shattered, for reasons they are all too familiar with. Of course, they will never speak in public of that tragic night years ago, but it is on the mind of all those who hurry past the now desolate Gelson farm. But behind closed doors, when nights draw dark, and storms fill the skies, and winds blow with such a chill that they rattle your very bones, you may perchance hear a couple of old dears tell the tale of the young writer Henry Gelson, and the mysterious circumstances of his disappearance.

So join us, ye intrepid Sega Addicts, as we present the first part of this chilling story of one man’s struggle to retain his sanity in the fight for Mega Drive. Hit the jump to read on but be warned, to shake these chills from your spine takes ages .

Disclaimer: The following story contains levels of gore some may find offensive. This story is not affiliated with Sega, and for the most part doesn’t have anything to do with Sega.

 

November 29th 2008

Henry Gelson was considered a quiet young man by those who knew him. No one doubted his knowledge of any topics he considered worth his time, yet he seldom made an effort to share these interests with others. Henry, however, was perfectly content with the life he currently lived. A writer of short horror stories, he considered himself relatively successful, so much as he was able to pay all of his bills and eat on a regular basis. Although a little more money in the bank wouldn’t hurt considering the oncoming economic storm forecast the world over, fortunately for Henry this was exactly what was coming to him.

Henry glanced at a hand written letter vibrating on the passenger seat of his tiny car as he trundled along an old country road, far away from his flat in Leeds overlooking the river Aire. The letter was written and signed by Glumleigh parish priest, The Reverend Dudley Harrison, in which he regrets to inform Henry that his mother, Heather Gelson, Henry’s last known living relative, had passed away after suffering from a severe stroke. Henry felt his hands tighten around the steering wheel, mad at himself for not being more upset at his mother’s death. However an even more pressing matter was at hand. Henry’s inheritance of his mother’s estate, including the ancient cottage he grew up in and everything within, required a trip back to the site of all those unpleasant childhood memories. Henry would have to go back to Gelson’s farm.

To Henry, his home village of Glumleigh, West Yorkshire, was a desolate place populated by unintelligent halfwits too afraid of the ever changing world they were now a part of. In his opinion its inhabitants were too content with their simplistic lifestyles to embrace any on the wonders modern living could offer them, the very traditions they held so dear binding them all to a life of hardships. It is this very life that Henry managed to break free from, a cold, harsh childhood spent with his mother whose senility had increased with great rapidity following the mysterious disappearance of his father only eleven years after he had been born.

Watching the last of the bars on his smart phone representing his network coverage blink off, Henry blessed the 21st century world that allowed him to escape his excruciatingly boring life in Glumleigh. At the age of 19 he bravely travelled the fifty miles from Glumleigh to the city of Leeds, a journey that consisted of three buses and a train ride, where he caught his big break by winning a writing competition held by the annual Leeds comic book convention. Such a journey of a mere fifty miles was one rarely ventured by most residents of Glumleigh, even for those with automobiles. With this saddening truth in mind, he abruptly turned the steering wheel and mounted the curb outside what must have been the last remaining Happy Shopper corner shop in the whole of Britain.

 ***

“Eee- if it ain’t young Gelson. Can’t say we ‘ere ‘aven’t been expecting the likes of you, what with ye mam passing away, like.”

Mrs. Helmford, the old crow, looked the same way she had always done, standing behind the counter of the Happy Shopper, with her blue, pocketed apron on she had kept from her days as a dinner lady, blathering out her opinion when no one asked for it.

“Yep, it’s me alright.” Henry said with the most obviously sarcastic tone imaginable, while reaching into his pocket for his wallet. “I’m here to go through the farm house and take anything of interest before it goes on sale. Although I’m guessing you’re already aware of that.”

He picked out a crumpled tenner and shoved it at Mrs. Helmford who, after a few moments presumably spent trying to remember why exactly she was behind a shop counter, took the note and handed back the change. Henry proceeded to shove the multi-pack of crisps and the two readymeals he had purchased into a blue and white striped carrier bag.

“Can’t say you’ve been missed, Gelson , I say we can’t say you been missed, what with ye leaving your mam all alone on her, I mean your, farm now. Din’t see ye at t’funeral neither.”

“How about that weather, eh” Henry knew full well how easy it was to derail Mrs. Helmford’s conversations. “It’s bloody freezing out there.” He said, shoving his two litre bottle of Irn-Bru under his arm while making his way out of the shop.

“Oh aye! Got me pipes all wrapped up at home, ye know, stop ’em burstin’ and that, what with that there snow they say’s comin’ our way. You’ll do good to wrap up warm tonight Gelson. Gelson? Gelson!”

Henry had already started the car, ready for the last leg of his journey, back to the place of his youth. Back home to Gelson’s farm.

***

The first of two ready meals juddered as it rotated inside the microwave, stopping and going again at regular two second intervals, the same way everything else put inside it had done for the last god knows how many years. Henry rested his head against the plastic window, watching the gravy over his mashed potato, peas and pork faggots start to bubble.

The interior of the old cottage looked the same as it had done when he had left three years ago save for the complete absence of the belongings he had left behind. His bedroom was now completely barren, four newly painted white walls and no furniture whatsoever. In The Reverend’s letter it was mentioned that, when asked, Henry’s mother had said that his things were in the loft. A trip for tomorrow, Henry decided, it was far too dark and far too cold to poke around in that dingy death trap.

The microwave beeped a beep that, against the silence of the cottage might have well been an air-horn and Henry reeled backwards, almost landing in the kitchen sink. His heart pounding, he found himself staring out of the kitchen window into the void. All of the farm’s remaining live stock had gone, and the nearest house was a mile away with Glumleigh proper being an additional seven. The twinkling lights looked like the horrifying expanse of outer space, the complete opposite of the nightly hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre. Henry yanked the blinds shut, embarrassed at the very idea of his isolation having an effect on him. He vigorously stirred his ready meal, and shoved it back into the microwave for a further five minutes. Plenty of time to make some noise.

***

Henry triumphantly walked into the living room with his ready meal on a plate, still in its tray, in one hand, the entire two litre bottle of apple Irn-Bru in the other and a knife and fork in his pocket. He sank down into his mother’s armchair which had been dragged in front of the house’s only television, a monaural, 21” cathode ray tube. ‘Heh, Mother never let me eat dinner while watching telly.’ He mumbled to himself, a wide smile quickly consuming his face.

The television had no reception but was luckily still hooked up to the old VHS player and his old collection of tapes were still in the draw at the bottom of the TV cabinet. He had selected a tape which simply had ‘Henry’ scrawled on the label in a child’s hand writing and set it to rewind while he ‘prepared’ his dinner. He picked up his fork in one hand and the remote in the other, and pressed play, assuming to be treated to some quality childhood cartoons. What came on, however, was far worse than anything he could have expected.

***

“Ch-Ch-ChuckleVision! Ch-ChuckleVision!” Henry watched in horror as Paul and Barry Chuckle assembled the word “ChuckleVision” as part of the introduction to the incredibly dated, yet beloved British children’s comedy program of the same name.

“ChuckleVision. Fucking ChuckleVision” Henry let out a deep sigh, piked up his fork and, proceeded to shove gravy soaked wads of mashed potato into his mouth.

The episode itself involved Paul and Barry being hired to paint the innards of a fun fair’s popular haunted house, which happens to be haunted by a real life ghost, which happens to be the owner of a fun fair owner covered in a white sheet. The Chuckle Brothers save the day and the bad man gets taken away to jail where all bad men go.

Henry thought that the idea of a prison sentence for what was nothing more than a prank was scariest part of the programme. That and the acting. He burped loudly, the last bit of the pork faggots hitting his stomach. He started to wonder what the ol’ Chuckle Brothers were up to these days when the very end of the the programme was cut off, being followed by bits of random adverts.

“…when you’ve been Tango’d… the cyber-razor cut… Say oh-ah, say oh-ah… chew Doublemint for… be this good takes…”

Then television snow. The static filled the screen, the white noise filling his ears. In the glowing warmth of the television Henry sank deeper into his mother’s chair. He was satisfied and full from his cheap meal. Although taking no declarable pattern the snow seemed to be pulsating slowly and with each pulse Henry felt the muscle in his body relax, his eyelids droop and his thoughts turn inwards.

***

The snow was the only thing the occupied Henry’s mind. It was around him, inside him, he was the snow. From between the black and white particles racing in front of him he saw a shape forming, a face. The face was very familiar to him, a face he both loathed and loved, the face of his mother.

“Hear me son, you are the keybearer, born to activate the ancient Mega Genesis Reality Distortion Drive and cleanse this tainted world. It is your one true calling Henry,

He mother’s face seemed distant as it spoke, as if the words were coming from both near and far. He strained to see her more clearly, to hear her words, but the harder he tried, the more she faded away.

“Look to the loft Henry, to the loft! Before it’s too late..!”

With the last words, the face of his mother dissolved into the static and was swept away. He Immediately felt the world around him vibrate as the static thickened and changed to a shade of blue, and then, a tremendous roar filled his head. The sound, like the screams of a thousand tortured souls, came from everywhere and nowhere, existing outside of Henry’s mind and inside it simultaneously.

“I. AM. GENESIS.”

About the author

Michael Westgarth

Michael Westgarth is a freelance writer and geneticist for hire who has been writing about video games since 2011. Michael enjoys saving the world and building creeper-proof, vertical sheep farms. Follow him on Twitter @MegaWestgarth, Tumblr and Google+.
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