This week’s edition to our Olympia Extracts is a fantastic science fiction, Alien Kidnap By Peter David. 



Chapter 1


I travelled up the same day by train, for a long peaceful walking holiday. It’s something I’ve dreamed about doing for a long time. I caught a taxi outside the railway station, and the driver dropped me off outside the bed and breakfast come guesthouse in the village of Broughton-in-Furness, in the Lake District, where I had already booked a room by phone three days earlier. I rang the door-bell to the guesthouse, the landlady answered the door, and invited me in. She led me to my room, which was nice and clean. After dinner, with a little chit-chat with the landlady, I slipped out to the local pub in the village for one or two beers. I was served right away, as the pub was almost empty. With two pints of dark beer and good night’s sleep, I woke-up early the next morning ready to enjoy my walking holiday. Breakfast was egg and bacon, and because I was the only one booked in, I got a huge plateful, it tasted delicious. It went down a treat without even stopping; my tummy was fit to burst.


The landlady, she really was a lovely woman, and a real jolly person. It was a pleasure to be in her company. In many ways, she reminded me of my grandmother, she couldn't do enough for people who stayed with her “Would you be calling back here, on your way home?'' she'd asked in a really pleasing way.


I told her, I hadn't planned on coming back this way. I was going to carry on walking, my plan was to catch the train at the other end, for my journey home. The landlady had made me a flask of coffee, and left me two chocolate biscuits to take with me. I left a ten-pound note on the table for the coffee and biscuits. My plan was to eat on the way, and maybe find one or two places to sleep for the night.


I had two addresses in my notebook, already lined-up for a night’s stay. I went upstairs to pack my rucksack, the landlady had already written her telephone number down on a piece of paper, just in case I needed it. When I came back downstairs, I thanked her for all the help and kindness she had shown me. With my rucksack on my back, I opened the front door ready to go.


“I hope you have an enjoyable walk?” she'd said. I thanked her for all she had done for me while staying under her roof. At the gate, I turned and waved goodbye to her. I set-off walking along the road to Corny Fell, which was close by. It was a damp March morning as I set off but otherwise a good day for walking your egg and bacon off. There wasn't anybody around when I left the village, it was completely deserted. I didn't think it was that early, but it must have been.


I picked-up my step, already I felt a lot better, with the cool soft wind on my face. I don't know what it was, but somehow I felt free.


I was made redundant last week after twenty years of employment with the same company. There was cut backs on the overseas orders, and I was one of four to go. At the time I was a little upset, but later I was glad it happened. I jumped at the chance, for a five day walking holiday. It was a long and deep-down wish of mine, it was something I’ve always wanted to do. With no family to worry about, and a bed-sit that's not worth talking about. I thought a walking holiday was just what I needed, before I started looking for work again.


This was a great opportunity for me to do something I’d been thinking about for some time. So I grabbed it with both hands, before I changed my mind. As I walked along the damp lane, the aroma caught my nose, it was the sweet smell of spring coming alive. A bit like me, only I was escaping from the factory of long hours, and even longer weeks.


Funny, when you're on your own, I started thinking about my last girlfriend. She was a really a nice girl, I should have married her. She suited me right down to the ground, but I was far too slow.


I let her slip through my fingers far too easily. She met somebody new at work, and that was the end of me. It’s strange, I still think of her. I often wonder if she ever thinks of me. Somehow I don't think so, now that's she married, maybe with children. It’s been such a long time; I wouldn’t know her now. When you're walking along on your own your mind plays tricks on you. Somehow you start thinking of your past, what you should have done, and things you should have said. Silly little things pop into your head, mine is mostly about Mum and Dad.


Uncles and aunts came a close second, how they all left this world far too early. You think of good times we had together never the bad times. We all remember the silly things we did when we were growing-up. It seems strange how many things pass through your mind, when you're all alone.


As I walked along the lane, I noticed the trees and bushes had started to bud. Spring was so near, I could almost touch it. That's something I’d never seen before, that's because I’ve never had time to look and see the green shoots of life. Even now, the grass looks greener to me as I walk on by. I can see the crows in the tree-tops gathering twigs for nest building. That's something else, I’d never seen before. I’ve spent too many years inside a factory, working long hours for a low wage, in order to live a low meaningless kind of a life.



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