Author : Charles E.J. Moulton

William felt relieved, actually.

One more hour of digging and his hands would have lost all their flesh.

William threw down his shovel, straightened his back, stretching his muscles and positively felt his 50 year-old bones snap, crackle and pop inside his body.

The termite nests he had found proved it.

The small parasites had caused the fairy circles.

“One more picture,” William whispered to himself, lifting his Nikon D4 and pushing the button. He triggered utter panic down there. He loved watching the little guys. Was that mean? William didn’t know. The fact of the matter was that lonely William found himself at last in the position of being able to deliver the geological institute a definite solution as to why these strange fairy circles were appearing along the African coast.

Fairy circles? Why had William become so interested in these things at all? That Spanish ufologist came to mind, that dark guy with the dyed blond hair. A whole evening’s worth of discussion had commenced and prompted William to prove the Spanish guy wrong. Standing here in Namibia five years later, that damn sun transforming his skin into a wasteland of wounds, William remembered yelling at that guy that Africa was not the U.S. and that the American crop circles were not to be compared with the African coast.


William reached toward his back pocket and took out his lukewarm water. The liquid felt cool trickling down his throat, cooler than the African sun. In comparison with that sun, the wind seemed chilly. In comparison with the heat, the water seemed refreshing. In comparison with the surrounding grass, these bare patches of wasteland seemed desolate. Eaten by parasites, devoured by insects, all life extinguished to serve one breed of vermin.

William took a few tired steps toward the large stone, throwing the bottle into his bag. Too many years now, too much research. It was time to go home now, take all his research, all those probes, all those little bugs, all that red sand, and give it to the institute in Johannesburg.

William wanted to spend at least a month just doing paper work at his office, eating pizza with his kids over the weekend, making love to his wife on Friday nights, enjoying an Orange River South African Pinotage red wine and a Bobotie dish of South African ground meat with an egg topping. No more than a few jotting of words in his notebook and he could call his wife and tell her to bring out the Scrabble game and pop the pop-corn for the kids.

No time for phone-calls, only time for the dropping of William’s notebook and pen. Had he not been seated, William would’ve stumbled.

The sun darkened because of the size of the arriving spaceships. William now knew what the Spaniard had described and how it was to see a UFO: the disability to move, the increased heartbeat, cold sweat running down a spine, the tingling of the nerve cells, the fear, then three alien ships burning three new dead fairy circles into the Arican ground.

When the alien walked out and took him by the hand, William didn’t protest. Questions were asked, information was exchanged and somewhere inside one of the ships he saw him: the Spanish ufologist. He smiled. It seemed, he belonged there.

William left the fairy circles forever, drove home, made love to his wife, gave up geology and became a painter.

William’s UFO-experience remained a secret for the rest of his life.

Termites remain the official cause of the circles.

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