WINNER - Mr Staples
Well done to Keir Peter Staples from Northampton who wins a coach holiday tour for two people to the Scottish Highlands!
Please enjoy his very 'creative' essay below.
The coach leaves Northampton - my wife and I settle into our seats.
Onwards and northwards. Beautiful Scotland awaits.
“We’ll get some nice photos this year, dear”, says my wife.
Soon we flash past the “Welcome to Scotland” sign.
The highlands are bathed in sunshine, the trees shining after rain. The mountains look magnificent.
We pull into a smart hotel. “Muthu Highland Heritage – Muthu Ben Doran Hotel” reads the sign. I wonder if Ben is the manager, until, almost reading my thoughts, the driver explains that Ben Doran is Gaelic for “Mountain of the Wanderer”.
In our comfortable room, we unpack, then find the dining-room for a meal. “Nothing wrong with the food,” my wife remarks.
Day one is Oban and the cruise to Mull. Quickly making friends, we begin to unwind. I know we’re in for a good week.
But the second night things begin to turn, well, strange. The strains of Hound Dog Hotel come from the neighbouring room, over and over. My wife sends me to politely knock, but the door is open. There, sitting on the bed, is an Elvis Presley tribute act in white suit, dark glasses and tassels, strumming a guitar.
I smile and walk in. “Hi” I said, “We wondered - ”
I stop dead. He’s taken his glasses off and I’m looking into the face of Elvis Presley.
Not some tribute act. The real Elvis Presley. The King.
“Elvis” I mouth. “I thought you were - ”
I was going to say dead, but that sounds impolite.
“No”, he smiles. “I was cryogenically frozen, got brought back to life in 2014. With my Scottish ancestry, I came here.”
We offer him a cup of tea and a game of scrabble. My wife gets his autograph.
In the morning, I wake up early and take a stroll. On the lawn I spot Elvis, but he’s not alone. He is stroking some big seal or something.
I move closer. “Morning, Elvis,” I say, breezily. I look at his companion. My face goes white. “G-good God”, I stutter. “That’s the Loch Ness monster !”
Elvis nods slowly. “You know what Nessie and I got in common ? Apart from both being Scottish ?”
I shake my head, transfixed.
“We both don’t exist. I’m dead and she’s a myth”
He chucks the monster under its chin.
“Anyways, we’re just waiting for our pick-up.”
“Pick-up ?” I try to sound calm, but things are happening too fast. My pace-maker is thumping uncontrollably.
“Here they come”. Elvis nods at the sky. Gently touching down is a silver space craft.
The hatch opens.
Out steps a man. He introduces himself, in a broad Scots accent: “Name’s Donald. We’re from the star system Sirius”
“How come you speak with a Scots accent ?” It’s the only thing I can think of to say.
“Ancestors came from Cowdenbeath.”
It’s all too much. Part of me wants to go back to Northampton.
“So long, friend,” waves Elvis.
“Wait,” I protest. “Can I get a picture of the three of you with the UFO ?”
I click. They take off, give me a shimmy with flashing lights, then they’re gone.
I look down at my phone. Yes, I know that photo’ll be worth millions, but somehow I can’t go down that route. It’s unethical.
Sadly, I hit delete - the only honourable thing to do.
Back at the hotel, my wife is up and dressed.
“Exciting walk, dear ?”
“Good”, she smiles, “time for breakfast”.