I realised that something had got
Tommy really fired up from the moment he answered the intercom at the front door. It was
something in his voice, though his greeting was as terse as ever.
good you could make it. Join me in the study. And put the kettle on as you come
The door release
hummed. I let myself in. Minutes later I was standing behind him, a steaming cup in each
hand, while he stared into the monitor on his desk. He spun his chair round to face me.
you are. I thought you might be interested well, I know you will be.
you got there Tommy? I nodded towards the screen.
its mind blowing. But I knew. Ive known for a long time.
That they really are out there
surely not still chasing aliens. I thought youd left that one behind. I thought you
He slapped his
hand down on the arm of the chair. Just get this, Mike. This is no wild theory. Ive
worked it out from pure observation. The maths is complex. It took me years to get on to
the right track. But Im there now. Im at a stage where I can make predictions
that are borne out by real events. Look at this
He turned back
to the computer monitor and tapped at the keyboard. An image filled the screen. Strange,
geometric and yes - beautiful. I knew that I was looking at a photograph of a crop
all been debunked! Guys going out into the fields at night with ropes and planks after a
you honestly think a crowd of drunks could have made that?
There was excitement in his voice.
maybe they did this first and then laughed all
the way to the pub.
So how do
circle appeared at the foot of Milk Hill in Wiltshire on the 7th July. Those
are the map coordinates at the bottom of the screen.
I predicted it. I knew to the
hour when it would appear. And where. Id known for quite some time.
some eccentric friends who do crazy things in their spare time then?
so bloody obtuse. Who what made this are no country yokels. They arent
even remotely human.
Not human. So what are they?
brow furrowed. He shook his head. Thats what I dont know. The only thing
I know for certain at the moment is that they make crop circles or most of them
and other phenomena as well. Theyre immensely powerful and much, much
more advanced than we are.
behind them I mean, why do they make
though they are
communicating. But thats just a guess. Its all part of
a much larger pattern. Certainly its not just confined to the Earth. Its
possible, of course, that they make them as a sort of challenge, a test if you like.
mean, I hardly think that they arent aware that there is intelligent life of this
planet. Maybe they were just waiting for someone to suss it all out, and then
Tommy hesitated. I wondered if he felt hed said too much. But I was really playing
him along. I mean, the whole idea was so far-fetched. He had to be kidding.
thinking that they might do something when they
realise that we earthlings are on to their game? Taking a bit of a risk there, arent
A smile played
across Tommys lips. I think youll agree that I have little enough to
lose. These guys can do anything, even
I shook my head
forcefully. Your problems are one thing
but what about the rest of us? I mean, this could be one mighty can of worms
dont try to kid me that if you had the chance that I think I have now - if
what had happened to me had happened to you that you would have hesitated for a
And he was
right. Theyd done their best for Tommy after the accident. But it would have taken a
miracle to make him what he had been. Were it not for his intellect and his creativity Im
pretty sure he would have given up. Even so, he was tormented by frustration and
resentment which could make him very difficult to live with. In the end, even his long
suffering wife had found it impossible.
going for it Mike. And Im not waiting. If I dont do it in the next few weeks,
then it will have to wait until next year. And thats too long.
So what is
it youre proposing?
know in good time. Ive worked out where and when the next series of circles will
appear. And I am going to be there for one of them. Right in the middle. Im going to
meet them, Tommy.
* * *
I couldnt take him seriously.
In fact I worried if his frustration had sent unhinged him. It was just too far fetched.
Yet, as the weeks went by I found myself drawn to the web sites that monitored the
appearance of the crop circles. Four, in fact, materialised in Wiltshire as the crops grew
to maturity. One was clearly a fake, but the others I could not be so sure of, they were
so strangely unworldly.
On another visit
to Tommy hed remarked on these. Oh, yes I knew they were coming. But
werent in the right place. Too far off the beaten track.
But it isnt long now
He wouldnt say any more. I guess he thought
that I might interfere with whatever it was he was planning. But I dont think I
would have done. Because I never really believed him, until it happened.
* * *
Within a few seconds of switching on
my mobile phone that morning in late August the familiar jingle announced a text message.
It had in fact been sent a couple of hours before Id woken. It was from Tommy. Just
two letters and two five digit series of numbers, and the words come now. It
took me only a few seconds to recognise it as map reference. As a keen walker, I had a
good supply of large scale maps in the house, and it was only a matter of minutes before I
was poring over a sheet spread out on the dining table. I pinpointed the spot quickly
enough: in the low lying fields south of the Vale of Pewsey in the north of Wiltshire. The
heart of crop circle country.
A couple of
attempts to raise Tommy on his mobile proved fruitless. It was switched off. Not even
taking voicemails. That was unlike Tommy. For the first time I felt a sense of misgiving.
I pulled on a jacket, grabbed some walking boots from the under stairs cupboard and went
out to the car.
It was still
quite early and there was no traffic to speak of. A diffuse early-autumn mist lying low
over the ripening fields gave an atmosphere of soothing tranquillity. A copper sun hung
above the horizon. As it brightened I pulled the visor down over the windscreen. Soon I
was closing in on the field that Tommy had identified as the place where the event
whatever lay behind it was to happen.
more slowly, over the brow of a hill, I was briefly dazzled by the glare of the sun as the
tendrils of mist dispersed. I pulled over to the side of the road and stopped the car. And
as my sight returned, I saw it in the valley below me.
I was at once
reminded of one of those NASA photos of a spiral galaxy, seen obliquely as so many are.
The thing was pristine, exquisitely sculpted. No, I thought to myself, this is far beyond
the ability of human beings to have created. Could Tommy have been right? But Tommy, where
was he? For a moment I wondered if he would come riding up the lane, calling out I
told you so! But there wasnt a sign of him. Then, as the after-image of the
sun faded from my vision I saw something at the very hub of the circle. Something dark and
I jumped out of
the car and without even slamming the door shut I started running. I came up to a gap in
the low hedge from where a trail of flattened barley that I knew had to be Tommys
track headed out into the field. In spite of the uneven ground I kept up my speed.
And at last I
came to the eye of the circle and found what I had dreaded finding after that first
glimpse from the hillside.
adapted his powered wheel chair into what he called an all terrain model. Hed
been quite proud of it, with its low centre of gravity and bulky tyres. This spot, with
its proximity to the road, would not have presented any real challenge. But now it was
almost beyond recognition. The tyres themselves had burned away, their remnants still
smoking. The metal frame was twisted, scorched and broken.
As for Tommy
himself nothing. For a while I shouted his name, but silence was the only answer
returned to me on that still morning.
In time the
realisation came to me that he really had gone. But where to I dont expect Ill
ever know. I miss him more than I could have anticipated. But there is a part of me that
hopes, even believes, that he did find what he was searching for.
you are out there somewhere I hope that it is all that you wished it would
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