1.6 – Pilot

A commercial airliner flying through local airspace disappeared today, only to reappear in the Night Vale Elementary gymnasium during basketball practice, disrupting practice quite badly.

The jet roared through the small gym for only a fraction of a second, and before it could strike any players or structure, it vanished again. This time, apparently, for good.

There is no word yet on if, or how, this will affect Night Vale Mountain Lions game schedule, and also, if this could perhaps be the work of their bitter rivals, the Desert Bluffs Cacti. Desert Bluffs is always trying to show us up through fancier uniforms, better pre-game snacks, and possibly by transporting a commercial jet into our gymnasium, delaying practice for several minutes, at least.

For shame, Desert Bluffs. For shame.

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1.7 – Pilot

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.

1.17 – Pilot

And now for a brief public service announcement.

Alligators. Can they kill your children?

Yes.

Along those lines, to get personal for a moment, I think the best way to die would be swallowed by a giant snake. Going feet first and whole into a slimy maw would give your life perfect symmetry.

2.3 – Glow Cloud

And now, the news.

Have any of our listeners seen the glowing cloud that has been moving in from the west? Well, John Peters, you know, the farmer, he saw it over the western ridge this morning. Said he would have thought it was the setting sun if it wasn’t for the time of day. Apparently, the cloud glows in a variety of colors, perhaps changing from observer to observer, although all report a low whistling when it draws near.

One death has already been attributed to the Glow Cloud. But listen, it’s probably nothing. If we had to shut down the town for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we’d never have time to do anything, right?

That’s what the Sheriff’s Secret Police are saying, and I agree. Although I would not go so far as to endorse their suggestion to “Run directly at the cloud, shrieking and waving your arms, just to see what it does.”

2.4 – Glow Cloud

The Apache Tracker– and I remind you that this is that white guy who wears the huge and cartoonishly inaccurate Indian headdress– has announced that he has found some disturbing evidence concerning the recent incident at the Night Vale Post Office, which has been sealed by the City Council since the great screaming that was heard from it a few weeks ago.

He said that, using “ancient Indian magics,” he slipped through Council security, into the Post Office, and observed that all the letters and packages had been thrown about as in a whirlwind… that there was the heavy stench of scorched flesh… that the words written in blood on the walls said “MORE TO COME” and “SOON.”

Can you believe this guy said he used “Indian magics”? What an asshole.

2.13 – Glow Cloud

Sorry, listeners! Not sure what happened in that earlier section of the broadcast. As in, I actually don’t remember what happened. Tried to play back the tapes, but they’re all blank, and smell faintly of vanilla.

The Glow Cloud, meanwhile, has moved on. It is now just a glowing spot in the distance, humming east to destinations unknown. We may never fully understand, or understand at all, what it was and why it dumped a lot of dead animals on our community.

But, and I’m going to get a little personal here, that’s the essence of life, isn’t it? Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community. While they’re happening, they feel like the only thing that matters, and you can hardly imagine that there’s a world out there that might have anything else going on.

And then the Glow Cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you. And you may find, as time passes, that you remember it less and less. Or absolutely not at all, in my case. And you are left with nothing but a powerful wonder at the fleeting nature of even the most important things in life, and the faint but pretty smell of vanilla.

3.4 – Station Management

Here at the radio station, it’s contract negotiation season with the Station Management again. That’s always an interesting time. Now obviously, I’m not allowed to go into details, but negotiation is tricky when you’re never allowed to glimpse what you’re negotiating with. Station Management stays inside their office at all times, only communicating with us through sealed envelopes that are spat out from under the door like a sunflower shell through teeth. Then, in order to respond, you just kind of shout at the closed door and hope that Management hears.

Sometimes you can see movements through the frosted glass… large shapes shifting around, strange tendrils whipping through the air. Architecturally speaking, the apparent size of Management’s office does not physically make sense given the size of the building. But it’s hard to say, really, as no one has ever seen the actual office, only its translucence.

Look, I’ve probably said too much. I can see down the hall that an envelope just came flying out. I pray it’s not another HR re-training session in The Dark Box. But what can I say? I’m a reporter at heart; I can’t not report.

[Paper shuffling.]

Oh, my.

Let’s go to the seven-day outlook. Your daily shades of the sky forecast:

  • Monday – Turquoise.
  • Tuesday – Taupe.
  • Wednesday – Robin’s egg.
  • Thursday – Turquoise-taupe.
  • Friday – Coal dust.
  • Saturday – Coal dust with chances of indigo in the late afternoon.
  • Sunday – Void.

3.8 – Station Management

Larry Leroy, out on the edge of town, reported that a creeping fear came into Night Vale today. He felt it first as a mild apprehension, then a growing worry, and finally a mortal panic. It passed from him to the employees of the car lot, who crouched behind the cars and cast fearful eyes at the empty sky. It did not affect Old Woman Josie, presumably because of her angelic protection. But it went from there to the rest of the town, until we all were shivering in anticipation for a terrible thing we could not yet see.

I myself was frozen, sure that any movement would lead to death… that any word would be my last. Of course, that also could have been the contract negotiations with station management, and the hideous envelope I just received. Also, I’m battling Lyme disease.

Meanwhile, the creeping fear passed, first leaving Larry Leroy, out on the edge of town, and then the car lot, where they went back to offering gently used cars at affordable prices, and finally, the rest of us, who could go back to living with the knowledge that at any given moment, we might either live or die— and it’s no use guessing which.

It is not currently known where the creeping fear will go next. Hopefully to Desert Bluffs. It would serve them right.

3.9 – Station Management

Two hawk-eyed listeners sent in reports that Carlos, our curious scientific visitor, was seen getting his beautiful, beautiful hair cut. He was having his gorgeous hair shorn. Cut! Cut short! So very short, from his perfectly shaped, brilliant head!

Listeners, I am not one to gossip, even if it is a local celebrity, but please… explain to me why Carlos would strip away, decimate, any part of his thick black hair, not to ignore the dignified, if premature, touch of gray at the temples? What treacherous barber should agree to such depravity? Who takes mere money or even soulless joy in depriving our small community of such a simple but important act as luridly admiring Carlos’s stunning coif?

Reports from two intrepid sources are that it was Telly the barber. Telly, who likes sports and has posters of combs. Telly the barber seems to be the one who betrayed our community. Telly the barber. It is Telly the barber at the corner of Southwest 5th Street and Old Mosque Road, with the red and white spinning pole and the sign that says, “Telly’s.” Telly is about 5’9”, with a small moustache and a thick potbelly. He talks with an accent, and sneers.

Telly the barber cut Carlos’s beautiful hair, according to reports. Telly.

3.10 – Station Management

Now, while I gather myself, let’s have a look at traffic.

Oh! Wow! Well, that looks pretty good. Yup. Yes… okay, not too bad there either, I see. Oh, that gentleman needs to slow it down! It is not a race, my friend! Not a literal one, anyway.

That has been traffic.

And now, for an editorial.

I don’t ask favors much, dear listeners. That you know. But I am asking all of you now to conduct a letter-writing campaign to Station Management, which was not pleased with my discussion of their physical attributes and behavior, and is now threatening to shut down my show, or possibly my life, for good. Their wording was kind of ambiguous. Obviously, we will not be able to deliver the letters directly to the Management per se, as no one has ever opened their door, but we can shout the contents of the letters outside their office, and we presume, given an anatomy that includes ears, they will be able to hear what you have to say.

So, if you like this show, and you want to hear more of it, then we need to hear from you. Make your voice heard to whatever it is that lies in wait behind that darkened office door—

[Ominous rumbling.]

Oh! I’m sorry, dear listeners. We’ll be back after this word from our sponsors.