Your existence is not impossible, but it’s also not very likely. Welcome to Night Vale.
In light of the ever-declining sales of newspapers, and the rise of competition from digital media, the Night Vale Daily Journal announced that it has developed a new business model. Publishing editor Leanne Hart, speaking to television and internet reporters outside the burned-down shell of the Journal’s former distribution plant, said their new mission, as a newspaper, is to kill newsbloggers with hatchets.
In this bold new initiative, a game-changing strategy by one of the industry stalwarts, the Daily Journal plans to just go to bloggers’ homes and places of employment with hatchets and then chop them up – the bloggers – until they – the bloggers – are dead. She added that the Journal still plans to use the AP Style Guide and they are working to design a newer, more modern-looking masthead. Several Journal reporters and ad reps then began swinging blades at the non-print reporters in attendance.
The Sheriff’s Secret Police is issuing an urgent message to all citizens. ATTENTION ALL CITIZENS. Memorize this list. Memorize it now. It will not now, nor ever, be repeated. Memorize this now for your safety and protection. We cannot tell you when or where you will need to know it, but when you do, you will be safe. Here is the list. Memorize… NOW.
- pheromone halter-top marmalade hardware laser pepper release kneecap falafel period chase chaste leggings wool sweater heartbeat heartbeat heart beat
Memorize that list, citizens! In order. Secret Police warn that if you miss even one word, or transpose a couple of worlds like ‘lurk’ and ‘lark’, there could be unpleasant consequences. This has been a special announcement from the Sheriff’s Secret Police.
Update on the impending invasion from the underground city: the Sheriff’s Secret Police has reviewed Teddy Williams’ grainy security footage from the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, and they say that the nearly-indiscernible grey blotch making a slight movement near the cheese dispenser definitely proves that a lost city is moving toward war with Night Vale.
A balaclava-clad man wearing a mitre, cloak, and a giant silver star, and speaking through a vocoder – you know, the man we all believe to be the Sheriff of Night Vale? – announced this morning that all citizens should prepare their town for war. This includes: fortifying porches with sandbags, training children to detect landmines, and not taking off our gas masks for meals, even though it is considered polite.
We talked with Teddy himself. He told us that during last night’s league bowling tournament, the jukebox malfunctioned, and would not stop playing “Mister Brownstone”. Teddy says this could be a code, some kind of threatening message, or maybe even a subtle call for peace. He also asked that Night Vale citizens learn their shoe sizes. Shoe rentals are taking way too long, and it’s really not that hard to memorize a one- or two-digit number.
The Sheriff’s Secret Police also asks Night Vale residents to please help in their neighborhood watch program. Secret Police are in every neighborhood, watching everybody, so here are some tips on how you can help this invaluable community surveillance program.
- Keep all windows open during clement weather, and if you must close them during rain, dust, or coal storms, please keep them clean, and stand near them, so cameras and microphones can clearly identify you.
- When having any private conversation, whether via phone or with those in your home, turn down the TV and radio to cut down on noise pollution. Also, please try to keep your conversations lively. Maybe some local gossip, or polarizing sports opinions. Too much boring talk about plans for your garden, or where to buy good laser discs, can make the Secret Police tired, and less effective at their jobs.
- Do not wear tinfoil hats. This hackneyed technique doesn’t work at all. Helicopters could mind-scan you through twenty feet of lead. You shouldn’t wear these homemade hats because it draws unnecessary attention to yourself. It’s pathetic and paranoid. The Secret Police are embarrassed for you.
And as always, if you see something, say ‘Something.’ That’s the code word to call a special raid on a neighbor or stranger. If you see something, say the word ‘something’.
Now, in the news. After several months of protests from ordinary Night Vale citizens of stout and sturdy character, the City Council has announced several improvements for the public library. These improvements are the following: an entrance is being constructed at the front of the building, so we will no longer have to enter by waking up between two shelves in a dizzy haze, unsure of how we got there, and then wandering around, trapped, until we wake with a start in our own beds, covered with sweat, and with a few books we checked out on our nightstand. Drinking fountains are being installed in the lobby, as well as dunking chambers, and a state-of-the-art fainting pool. Librarian repellent dispensers are being placed throughout the building. Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still. Do not run away. Try to make yourself bigger than the librarian. Finally, the children’s section is getting beanbag chairs. That is all.
But is it?
And now, traffic. All roads lead to somewhere, and all roads come from somewhere. And in between they are a snarl and curve, a twist and a bend. Where are we going? I mean, metaphorically? Where are we coming from? I mean, literally. Is it possible to stop, or turn around, and if not, what does that mean for the latest polls and economic reports? Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, Route 800 is looking clear in both directions. The old dirt road to the small wooden shack is backed up at least thirty minutes. There. Now you know. Has that filled an emptiness for you? Are you any happier now? I hope so. This has been, and will always be, traffic.
Well, I just got off the phone with Carlos, listeners, and we have a date! Tomorrow afternoon. It’s just coffee, but maybe it’s more! Maybe lots more. Who knows? You know, they always say if you’re trying to meet someone, you may never find them, but it’s when you’re not looking, that’s when they find you. I’ve always heard this in reference to government agents, but I think it applies to dating as well.
Carlos did want me to ask if anyone has ever actually seen the Night Vale clock tower. I told him that it was invisible, and always teleporting, and that’s why he can’t ever see it. I mean, that seems sort of obvious. …Okay. That was unfair. Carlos is a very smart man, and I shouldn’t roll my eyes just because he doesn’t comprehend basic architecture. He obviously has a lot of other intriguing interests, though, like clock making! And seismology! And who knows what else. Oh, happy day, listeners! Thanks for listening, and for helping me through this! I’m so very excited.