The sun has grown so very, very old. How long, cold, fading death? How long? Welcome to Night Vale.
Our top story: last night’s Night Vale PTA meeting ended in bloodshed as a rift in space-time split open in the Main Street Recreation Center auditorium, setting loose several confused and physically aggressive pteranodons. The glowing portal remained open and shrieked incessantly, an unholy sound that witnesses say resembled noisy urchin children caught in a combine harvester, and then slowed down and amped up through some kind of open-source, easy-to-use audio editing software.
The pteranodons mostly attacked women with glasses. Night Vale authorities are still unsure why, as Night Vale’s only flying dinosaur expert, Joel Eisenberg, still has not recovered from last year’s bout with throat spiders. It took most of an hour to corral the panicked beasts back into the vortex and resume the meeting, which had mostly been about recent lunchroom price hikes, and had devolved into name-calling because Susan Willman called Diane Creighton’s son, Josh, “a bit tubby,” and that maybe he needs a financial incentive to eat a bit less. In this reporter’s opinion, Susan Willman is dangerously obsessed with the New York Times bestselling Freakonomics books. Dangerously so.
Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the incident, although experts from Timothy’s Auditorium Repair Contractors Inc. estimate close to $750,000 in damage has been done to the rec center auditorium. That cost includes free storm windows and a complimentary seasonal insulation consultation.
It’s election season again, and you know what that means. Sheriff’s Secret Police will be coming by to collect certain family members so that everyone votes for the correct Council seats, and there’s no confusion. These family members will be held in a secure and undisclosed location, which everyone knows is the abandoned mine shaft outside of town.
But don’t let the name fool you, listeners. It’s been used for years for so many kidnappings and illegal detentions that the abandoned mine shaft outside of town is actually a pretty nice location these days, featuring king-size beds, free wi-fi, and HBO. Also, torture cubicles, but I don’t think anyone’s going to make the Council use those. Remember, this is America! Vote correctly, or never see your loved ones again. This message brought to you by the City Council.
The Night Vale Daily Journal today announced that, due to the recent economic downturn, they will start running ads on the front page. Any business interested in running one of these platinum premium ads should contact editor Leann Hart. Hart mentioned that they have also created a “write your own news story” program for interested citizens. Because every writer has been laid off, the Daily Journal now needs these community contributions to supply Night Vale with important news and features.
The first platinum premium ad runs next Monday, and features the terrified face of an infant primate with a superimposed spoon that has been stone-sharpened to a rough point, and the tagline “Better Use Tide!”
Hart also said that last year’s explosion that decimated the Daily Journal’s distribution plant is still “totally an accident,” and would like her insurance rep to call her back. Please, call her back.
This just came across the wire: the Secret Police have issued a new statement shedding more light onto last night’s PTA meeting incident. The noisy portal and subsequent dinosaur attack that brutally interrupted discussion of swingset repairs on the elementary school playground stayed open long after recreation center employees thought they had rounded up all of the ancestral avian beasts, and authorities warn there is still at least one more pteranodon on the loose. Citizens should cover themselves with a low-SPF sunscreen and hide in a tiled bathroom.
Several curious handball players on the courts next to the auditorium actually popped their heads into the portal just to see what was on the other side of the vortex, and came back dramatically changed. The players aged several thousand years in what bystanders experienced as only a few seconds. Those handball players now straddle the unenviable border of millennially wizened and cripplingly insane. Since psychological and emotional damages are no longer considered valid claims by the greater medical insurance community, we are still reporting zero injuries.
We’ll update you as further details surface in our special, ongoing, and very special coverage of Pteranodon Attackgate: Are We Safe From Dinosaurs? No Way.
City Council has asked me to read the following message.
If you notice strange auras around any of the following objects in your house: blender, showerhead, dog, husband, wife, table, chair, doorknob, baseboard, vacation souvenirs or photos, collectibles of any kind, especially those depicting or involving horses, DVDs, especially Cliffhanger, There’s Something About Mary, and The Wire 4th Season, and any bagged lettuce from California or Mexico… please, report to the Council for indefinite detention.
Speaking of the City Council, it voted this week to remove the large, lead-plated door from the northeasternmost crook of Radon Canyon. You know, the area pulsing with green light and sotto voce basso humming. Proponents of the measure called the large, yellow emblem and red lettering that spelled out, “DANGER – PLUTONIUM – DO NOT OPEN DOOR – RISK OF DEATH” were at worst an offensive eyesore and at best a hacky sci-fi cliche.
Many Night Vale citizens attended the meeting, including, it was said, several angels— although no angel is admitted to have been present for the City Council meeting, or any other event ever, for that matter. Old Woman Josie agreed with the measure, adding that lead is a health hazard, and that the old door was nothing but a ticking time-bomb. According to the meeting minutes, Josie said, “That old door… ooh, that door. Someone’s going to get some kind of lead poisoning.”
Carlos— beautiful Carlos, tragically shorn of his locks— reportedly was the only dissenting voice, but it is not clear he actually opposed the measure, as the minutes only report him stating, “There is no time! No more time!” into a black rectangle in his hand, and then running, winded, from the community hall. According to Old Woman Josie, he was still absolutely perfect, and smelled of lavender chewing gum.
More breaking news on the pteranodons. We humbly offer the following retractions from our previous reports:
Secret Police are now reporting that the offending beasts were not pteranodons after all, but pterodactyls. Also, pteranodons aren’t even dinosaurs, as this station previously stated, just winged reptiles that lived about 70 million years after pterodactyls. Finally, earlier we reported a death toll of zero, when in fact, the number is closer to 38. We regret these errors.
It’s almost football season, and the Night Vale Scorpions are gearing up for a defense of their high school division title. But really, as long as we beat Desert Bluffs, fans and hooded figures alike will feel just fine. Coach Nazr al-Mujaheed told reporters he’s particularly excited for the progress junior quarterback Michael Sandero made during the off-season after that sentient lightning bolt struck him and gave him the strength of two Jeeps and the intelligence of a heavily concussed René Descartes.
But if Night Vale is going to beat their bitter rivals this year, and stave off the government-administered pestilence that follows a losing season record, Sandero will have to improve his accuracy. Last year, Sandero only completed 2 out of 130 pass attempts, most notably because he was in advanced stages of cerebral palsy, and because his throwing hand had been removed due to several overdue library books.
Apparently, the off-season lightning strike had healed Sandero of his terminal ailments and court-ordered amputations, and he’s ready to take on Desert Bluffs, which is probably the worst team ever. God, they’re dreadful.
And now an editorial. Let’s talk for a moment about apartment building etiquette. Now, I myself live in an apartment building. And there is a compassion and acceptance you have to have for a certain level of annoyance. It’s people in close proximity to each other, and so there will be some things that you don’t like, and still have to let go.
But, other things are absolutely unacceptable! For instance, a certain level of strange, radiating light or heat on shared walls is expected. But any oozings or visible membranes are rude and thoughtless to all of your neighbors. Gibbering, howling, and chants in long-dead languages are the kind of thing that is fine at 1 PM, but absolutely not fine at 1 AM. We are all in this together. Put your trash in the cans, not in the hallway leading to the cans. Put on some clothes when standing in front of your windows, and keep any rituals or crazed experiments to hours in which no one is trying to sleep. It doesn’t have to be hard.