The Circle Game
The rusting Transit parked
on the track by the wheat field. Ian and Al
climbed out into the night and opened the rear
doors. Between them, they could lift the ranging
rods, roller and other equipment which they
carefully carried into the ripe wheat. Almost at
once, they could make out two figures, just feet
in front of them in the darkness. Both pairs
simultaneously switched on their torches and
stared at each other in surprise. Al noted that
the two women were also carrying a roller,
ranging rods and the other paraphernalia of crop-circle
artists. Looks like weve all got the
same idea, he said.
Angela smiled. Weve
not worked in this area before. Didnt know
there was another team about here.
We dont usually
go this far north, volunteered Ian. Weve
done most of our work around Avebury.
Susan became curious.
Did you do the big Avebury circles last
Yes, he replied.
They were wonderful.
I really admire your work. We mostly do
commissions from farmers. These days, charging
the New-agers a pound a time to visit a circle
pays more than selling the wheat.
What were you
planning tonight? asked Al.
Susan took some A4 sheets
of paper from her pocket and held them in the
said Al, recognising the careful planning of a
fellow professional. The plan showed the final
design but, like their own, it also detailed all
the distances, bearings and manoeuvres,
chronologically listed, to allow the work to be
undertaken in near total darkness. We were
going to do this one, he volunteered,
passing his plan to Susan.
Ian smiled. Im
so pleased to see more women taking up the sport,
he said encouragingly. Well give it a
miss tonight. You two carry on.
No, said Susan
closely inspecting Als plan. This
design is lovely. Its also massive. This
will really wind-up the New Age alien hunters!
They all laughed. Weve done ours a
few times before, she continued, you
It was agreed that Ian and
Al would work that night, and the teams said
farewell. There was much to do in setting out the
patterns and flattening the crop. It was nearly
dawn before Al added his usual finishing touch by
burning a pattern on the ground with a blowtorch
to allow the New-agers to speculate where the
alien spacecraft might have landed.
The sun was beginning to
rise as Ian started the van, crashed it into gear
and began to move forwards. He leaned towards the
dashboard and flicked the switch that engaged the
cloaking device on the vehicle. Now, even someone
standing next to it would not have seen its
biometallic shell morphing into sleek lines which
folded to reform the flight surfaces. Such an
observer might just have noticed the faint, blue
glow from the engines as the shuttlecraft
silently lifted skywards on its journey back into
space to rejoin the mothership on the far side of