4.7 – PTA Meeting

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.

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16.9 – The Phone Call

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:

[Carlos:]
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.

Next message:

[Carlos whispering:]
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.

Next message:

[Carlos:]
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!

[“Those Days Are Gone And My Heart Is Breaking” by Barton Carroll.]