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Category Archives: Short Stories

I have never enjoyed moving nor do I enjoy staying in the same place for too long. It’s quite the conundrum for me as my family and I are in the middle of a move and for the first time going through the process of selling a house. I would not recommend this process for those weak of heart. It’s eating away at my soul. I feel like our lives are put in a little glass box for anyone with a notion and 15 minutes free to come and pick apart everything that we are. Now I know I shouldn’t feel this way. I understand that its business but it’s not merely business for me. It’s my life and it’s very personal to me. And because of that it hurts.

For 5yrs I have put my heart, blood, and sweat making a house into a home.  And now we must leave it. I am forced to watch as inspectors come and say this is wrong or that is wrong and all the while the anxiety builds and builds. For some time now I haven’t been able to have a break or a time to balance out. It’s never ending. Sure there’s a closing date but only if something doesn’t go wrong. I’m not even counting the actual packing or moving of stuff into a storage container that doesn’t exist as a part of my meltdown. For example: The summer time started and we were hot. So I packed the cold clothes into boxes and sent them to the garage with all the other stuff. A week later it’s raining and it’s 65degrees in my house. I know the sun is coming out already but it’s those things that start to add up and little by little the accruing weight starts to get heavier and heavier. I didn’t know it would be like this. I might have assumed it would be a bit of a shock but it feels more like being struck by lightning, repeatedly.

I love my family very much and for them I would do anything. I would endure anything. I started reading a book, one that I would hope help my deal with this journey, “Lord of the Rings”. Sure my journey is not quite at the level of Frodo’s and his Fellowship but the lessons are parallel. Although things may seem Dark and without hope, if you stay true to yourself and your family your task and journey can and will be completed.

One does not merely walk into Mordor and sell a house.

The saying, “One of Those Days” is something I’ve muttered a lot recently. However, this day may just take the cake. I’m not sure where that saying comes from, take’s the cake, but I imagine someone dressed like the Hamburglar stealing a crying babies first taste of sugary sweetness is where it originated from. The things I think of when I find myself hanging upside down.

As the cold grip of steel bites into my ankles and it’s evil twin does the same to my wrists I realize that it may not be day at all. It’s dark but that’s only because I’ve been blind folded. For all I know it could be very pleasant out. I’m sure it’s not. It mostly never is. It’s not for lack of trying, no, I try. I really do. But with great trying comes great capturing. Or abducting. Or murdering, although that has yet to be done successfully. So, all of my trying and where does it get me? I wake up to my hair dangling on the wrong end of up and what feels like blood getting ready to drip out of my eyes, ears, and nose.

I sniff unconsciously after imagining blood coming from my nose and get a scent of something very unpleasant. The smell snaps my head back like a Shoryuken from Ryu. I knew the smell. From the first time you smell it there’s not a day goes by that you don’t think of it. It stays with you forever. The smell of death will always haunt you.

Yep.  My name is Wes Andersen and it’s just one of those days.

This one test’s result changes your whole life. No, it’s not the Sat’s or the MCAT’s. This test requires you to study the bottom of a Big Gulp before taking it, instead of a mound of books so big a Hobbit could burrow a nice home in. Although the methods may not seem sophisticated, the results will change your life for the better–It’s always for the better.

A Lady peeing on a stick is anything but ladylike but it’s the fastest and easiest way to know that what their body has been telling them is confirmed; They’re going to have a baby.

I remember when my wife and I took the test. Although I wasn’t the one peeing on a stick I was there waiting, counting down the minutes–counting down the seconds. This test is merely a pass or fail system. Well, not fail, maybe more of an incomplete. In that moment your life as you have been accustom to is over and a life full of wonder, crazy, and love like you’ve never known begins.

My little brother and his wife have recently taken and passed this test. A flood of memories surfaced when I saw their smiling faces as they told everyone the good news. I can’t wait for those two to go through the steps of pregnancy and prepare for the bundle that will soon take over their lives. Because he/she will definitely take over the homestead from the moment he/she enters this world.

Now, everything is not all sunshine and roses and it takes strength and faith in each other to get through the sleepless nights, the early morning runs to the market, and the un-holy diaper changes. But if there were two people I knew that had the love and the support of their spouse it would be these two kids. I am excited to see their journey through babyhood and the life steps that come their way.

I used to say I would never be married and with that I never wanted to be a father. But I met that person who changed that selfish mindset and everything changed. I hope that one day everyone can feel like that and meet that person who can change their way of thinking and their way of life for the better.

Good luck.

B. McGee

Good evening everyone,

After a long Hiatus I am back and ready to do what I love to do: Write about anything and everything. I hope you have all survived without a little sample of me every week. I hope everyone has had a great Fall and a good start to what looks like a very cold Winter.

I have put my book on sale in the Amazon Marketplace. Here is a link there if you want a fun read to curl up to on these cold nights: “Welcome to Heretic Valley”.

If you have a topic you would like to know my opinion on or news about my other writings let me know in the comment section or find me on twitter @HereticValley. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for enjoying the things that I put on here and trust me there’s more to come. Have a great night.
B. McGee

The awkwardness of Middle school and High school didn’t end when the final bell rang. It continued, through after school affairs such as sports and clubs that you’re pushed into by your parents. But through all that one thing in my life remained constant: video games. After a hard day of social ineptitude and sporty awkwardness I could always count on the power button to release me from my ever changing world. I was playing Super Nintendo in those days, racing around the track in Super Mario Kart, clinging to vines in Donkey Kong, and hitting home runs in Ken Griffey Jr. baseball. If I had a guilty pleasure game for the Super NES it would be The Lion King video game. I can’t explain it but I have so many fond memories of playing it that game is always the first I think of.

There were so many great two player games that you and a friend could play for hours without an inkling of boredom. As mentioned previously, Mario Kart was one of those games as was Street Fighter. You could use several different characters each with their own special abilities and you wouldn’t get tired of them. That was the beauty of games back then. They were made specifically for two players. Their levels were made to keep you on your toes and make the two players work as a team. What they lack in the graphics department compared to the new generation games they made up for in how they were played.

Yes, my nostalgia sometimes gets the best of me. I know the Super NES shouldn’t be compared to the consoles of today but I can’t help but think that somehow the new gen systems missed the mark on two player capability. And no I don’t mean online, that’s a completely different topic.

Regardless, my thumbs were sore most weekends or rainy days–Especially when the Sony Playstation came out. I was one of the idiots that traded in the Super NES to get a better deal on the PS. Maybe it was the only way I could afford it, but more likely it was the ONLY way I could afford it. Lucky for me my good friend kept his Super NES so I was able to get the best of both worlds.

The Playstation came out with a plethora of games and the game itself was on a disc just like in the music world everything changed over from tape to disc as well. With the PS came my first taste of a Naughty Dog game in, Crash Bandicoot. This system also brought us big franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, and Tomb Raider. I remember trying to play Resident Evil without my Mom knowing because she said it would be too scary for me and she didn’t want it in her house. And boy was she right. I freaked out. But you’re also talking to the kid who couldn’t watch Jaws because it was too scary. Obviously, I overcame my fears of the walking dead and big, man-eating sharks. My Wife and I play all of the Resident Evil games in co-op mode. In fact that’s what we did on Valentine’s Day. For us, playing video games together is one of the most romantic ways of spending an evening.

The Playstation was a beautiful beginning in Sony’s PS franchise. It further developed my video game addiction. Now, not only did I still play the Super NES, I had a second system with completely different games and construction. Further I went down the rabbit hole in a virtual world where anything was possible.

After High School: Video Game Graduation….coming soon

 

For most people it started early in their life. For some, the addiction didn’t come until they were in high school or perhaps even later in life. It will keep you up at night and sometimes through the early morning hours. The disappointment of defeat or the glory of victory goes hand in hand in this virtual world. You can be anybody or anywhere you want to be. You can travel to France in the 1600’s or you can go to planets in the farthest of galaxies. Anything and everything are in the realm of possibility.

Hi, my name is Brian and I’m addicted to video games. And I don’t ever want to give it up.

My story begins when I was in the 5th grade. I can’t remember when we got it but I can remember how much time and fun I had with it: The Nintendo NES. I will give you my top five games played and would play if I had one today: Contra, Super Mario Bros., Paper boy, Excitebike, Duck Hunt. This system provided the game groundwork for nearly thirty years. I’m enjoying theses same story lines and characters to this day.

Growing up with the NES did more than pass the time on a slow Saturday; it provided my two brothers and me a platform to settle our disagreements without the usual aggression and physical contact. Although, playing the system also caused many other fights. There were many times when my Mother would have to unplug the console and take it away from us. Or she would use it as a bargaining chip to get her three sons to do their chores. And more often than not it worked.

There were many days punching in the Konami code and seeing who could have the most kills or how far could we get as a team in, Contra. Some days were spent challenging each other in, Duck Hunt but usually that ended in a fight because one of us would slide to close to the screen. Those days unfortunately came to an end when the NES over heated and never worked again. It didn’t matter how hard we blew into the cartridges or how hard we slammed them in there; the beast would not wake up.

It didn’t matter. The code was awoken inside of me and my life would never be the same. There wouldn’t be a house or apartment that didn’t have a console in it. I didn’t care if I had to ride a Huffy bike and wear hand-me-down clothes just as long as a video game station was in the living room.

I would always sacrifice for the love of the games.

 

Part 2: The High School Years, coming soon

There are few things in this life that are constant: Time is always ticking away whether we like it or not. As long as we, the human race, occupy this dirt time will always be against us. And the second is the natural opposites that white and black are, have been, and always will be.

I live neither in the light nor completely in the dark. Although it’s not from lack of trying. I merely don’t belong in the light and each day the darkness call to me. It wants me. It beckons me to bathe in it’s allure. To let it wash over me like a waterfall of sin. If I gave in my city would be lost forever. The city would be devoured by the darkness, swallowed whole and to never return. All the work I’ve put in would be erased and the thin line holding the dark at bay would be severed. (And yes, I’m thin.)

I’ve been called many things but a do-good-er or protector or hero has not been one of them. Mostly I’ve been called Wes, simply Wes. There are few who know me and of the things I do to keep the shadows from advancing each night and that’s OK by me. I don’t do it for the publicity. I do it because it’s the only thing I’m good at. I do it because I have to. I need to.

So you rest easy, Heretic Valley. I’m not gonna let the Boogeyman get you tonight.

It’s 5:17 pm. Thirty eight minutes to go.

My game has been turned off. Clothes have been put on: Black t-shirt with a little v-neck action for the ladies, darker jeans that don’t smell horrible, and black converse all-star low-tops. And the piece de resistance–One black Pea coat. Most people don’t leave home without their wallet or their cellphone. For me it’s my coat, my protector.

Twenty six minutes to go.

I start focusing more on the task ahead of me and not that of Gizmo’s empty food bowl.

Twenty four minutes to go.

With the puppy face overwhelming my emotions the dog has been fed, perhaps with too much food. I think he’s spoiled and out of shape. He snorted the other day. I thought for a moment I had a pig instead of a Boston Terrier. It wasn’t an adorable kind of snort either. It was deep, like his nose cavities were two cavernous trenches creating sounds unknown to mankind. I was startled to say the least.

Seventeen minutes to go.

I fed myself as well. A quick grilled cheese and an apple. Because an apple a day…yadda, yadda, yadda.  A quick glance in the mirror…..

Three minutes to go.

My heart always starts to beat just a little bit faster when the minutes are in the single digits. There’s so much unknown. There’s too many variables.  But I can’t help that. It’s the nature of the beast.

The time is now 5:55 pm.

Goodbye Gizmo. Don’t wait up for me. It’s sunset and it means it’s time Daddy gets to go to work.

And how I do love my work.

 

Sorry, I’ve been gone a while. But I’ve been a very busy boy. I’ll tell you about it soon…

To all my nerds and procrastinators out there it’s finally time for you to get going. The final countdown is upon us. A mere 24 hours left to download your digital copy of, Welcome To Heretic Valley on Amazon. Go to http://www.Amazon.com and search for either my name, Brian McGee or the title, Welcome To Heretic Valley.

Thank you to everyone who has done just that so far and to those of you who haven’t you better hurry. In the words of an old, wise being–“Fly you fools.”

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