That new scientist– who we now know is named Carlos– called a town meeting. He has a square jaw and teeth like a military cemetary. His hair is perfect, and we all hate and despair and love that perfect hair in equal measure.
Old Woman Josie brought corn muffins, which were decent, but lacked salt. She said the angels had taken her salt for a godly mission, and she hadn’t yet gotten around to buying more.
Carlos told us that we are by far the most scientifically interesting community in the U.S., and he has come to study just what is going on around here. He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.
Government agents from A Vague Yet Menacing Agency were in the back, watching. I fear for Carlos. I fear for Night Vale. I fear for anyone caught between what they know, and what they don’t yet know that they don’t know.
Carlos, perfect and beautiful, came into our studios during the break earlier, but declined to stay for an interview.
He had some sort of blinking box in his hand covered with wires and tubes. Said he was testing the place for materials. I don’t know what materials he meant, but that box sure whistled and beeped a lot. When he put it close to the microphone, it sounded like, well, like a bunch of baby birds had just woken up… really went crazy.
Carlos looked nervous. I’ve never seen that kind of look on someone with that strong of a jaw.
He left in a hurry. Told us to evacuate the building. But then, who would be here to talk sweetly to all of you out there?
Settling in to be another clear night and pretty evening here in Night Vale. I hope all of you out there have someone to sleep through it with, or at least, good memories of when you did.
Carlos, this station’s favorite scientist— no offense to Dr. Dubinsky in the Night Vale Community College chemistry department— dropped by our broadcast location earlier this morning for a little chat. Sadly, dinner or weekend plans were not among the topics.
However, Carlos did request that we ask listeners for anyone who saw a series of bright, colorful flickers coming from Radon Canyon this past weekend. These flickers would’ve also been accompanied by unintelligible noises, possibly some form of coded communication or signal-jamming technique. Carlos suggested that there could be some very sinister forces at work here. He declined to be interviewed live, claiming only that he was scared for us, scared for all of us in our strange town. Then he drove away quickly in his economical but attractively sporty hybrid coupe.
If anyone out there knows anything about these otherworldly lights and sounds, please contact us immediately.
We’re receiving several phone calls from listeners, and from the Parks Department, that those flickering lights and unintelligible noises we reported on earlier were coming from the Pink Floyd Multimedia Laser Spectacular.
I contacted Carlos about this, and he said that the situation is even worse than he imagined. He again did not mention weekend plans.
Listeners, guess who called me this weekend. Well, hey, I don’t like to talk too much about my personal life here. This is your community news station, not Cecil’s Personal Life Station, right? Okay, fine. I’ll just say it.
Carlos, the dark, delicate-skinned scientist who came into our little town and our littler hearts several months ago. Well, I gave him my home phone number quite a while back, and he never called, and I didn’t think anything of it, right? I mean, sometimes people just don’t call, and that’s okay.
Well, to the point: Carlos called, and I’m like, ‘Hellooo?’ Like I don’t even have caller ID, and he’s like ‘I need to talk to you. This is important.’ And I’m like, ‘Ummm, okay.’ I mean, that’s pretty forward, right, listeners? But I can’t tell exactly what he wants yet! And he said ‘Cecil.’ Just the sound of his caramel voice. ‘Cecil,’ he says. ‘Cecil. I think time is slowing down in Night Vale,’ and then I said, after a slow sip of Armagnac, ‘Ohhhh?’
And perfect Carlos said, ‘Last week, seven days, twenty four hours each day, sixty minutes in each hour. That’s ten thousand eighty minutes in a week, right?’
‘Uh-huh. Go on!’ I said, trying to sound like someone with a normal pulse whose palms were not sweating.
‘Well, I ran some figures, and during that same amount of time in Night Vale, eleven thousand seven hundred eighty-three minutes elapsed everywhere else in the world. That’s more than a full day longer. I don’t know what’s happening.’
So that’s what Carlos said! Listeners, what do you think? I feel like time always slows down when we’re together, Carlos and I. Is that what he’s trying to say? I feel that way too!
But I didn’t say it, I just said, ohh, this is bad… I just said, ‘Neat!’ Ugh. How embarrassing. I mean, Carlos is sooo smart, and he says sooo many smart things! And I’m not dumb! I like science and municipally-approved books just as much as the next guy, so I can’t believe that’s all I could say to him. ‘Neat.’ But I did manage to ask if he wanted to get together sometime, and talk some more about this really fascinating subject. He said no, but he needed me to help get the word out and see if anyone has noticed a massive time-shift, so that’s what I’m doing now. Anything for the scientific community. I’m very into science these days.
Listeners, I can hardly stand it any longer. During the past few stories, my phone has been silently buzzing. You guessed who! Given that I am a radio host and it is therefore my duty to read you the news, it would be completely inappropriate for me to answer my phone regardless of how much I want to soak my ears in the oaky tones of our community’s most significant outsider. But. Well. He left me some voicemails. This may be a bit unorthodox, but I need your help, dear listeners, to determine where Carlos is going with all of this! Let’s listen to these together, okay? What do you think he’s trying to say?
First saved message:
Cecil, sorry to bother you. I need you to get the word out that clocks in Night Vale are not real. I have not found a single real clock. I have disassembled several watches and clocks this week and all of them are hollow inside. No gears, no crystal, no battery or power source. Some of them actually contain a gelatinous grey lump that seems to be growing hair, and teeth. I need to know if all clocks are this way, Cecil. This is ve –
[whispering] There’s something at my door, Cecil. I need to go, okay? I’ll call you back in… well, I don’t know.
End of message.
There’s a man in a jacket holding a leather suitcase outside my door, Cecil. He’s not knocking, he’s just standing in front of my door. I can’t make out his face. I’m peering through a crack in the living room blinds. – Oh no, he saw me!
End of message.
Sorry about that, Cecil. I forget what I was doing. I think somebody came over, but I don’t remember who or what for. Anyway, I need to meet you. Are you free tomorrow afternoon? You have a contact number for the mayor and someone with the police, right? It’s important that I find them, and again, can you get the word out on your radio show about the clocks?
End of message.
Did you hear that, listeners? A date! Let’s go to the weather!
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.