1.18 – Pilot

Speaking of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley & Arcade Fun Complex, its owner, Teddy Williams, reports that he has found the entrance to a vast underground city in the pin retrieval area of lane five. He said he has not yet ventured into it, merely peered down at its strange spires and broad avenues.

He also reports voices of a distant crowd in the depths of that subterranean metropolis.

Apparently, the entrance was discovered when a bowling ball accidentally rolled into it, clattering down to the city below with sounds that echoed for miles across the impossibly huge cavern.

So, you know… whatever population that city has… they know about us now. And we might be hearing from them very soon.

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5.7 – The Shape In Grove Park

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Ladies and gentlemen, the rumor mill is abuzz! We’ve had a celebrity sighting in our little burg! Old Woman Josie and one of her angel friends reportedly saw Rita Hayworth getting gas at the Fuel ’N’ Go over by the bowling alley! Rita Hayworth, ladies and gentlemen, right here in Night Vale. Can you believe it?

Old Woman Josie said Rita was looking a bit older, moderately obese, and considerably more Hispanic, but the angel assured her it was indeed Rita. He is an angel, after all. He would know, right? Wow. Rita Hayworth, right here in Night Vale. Just imagine.

8.12 – The Lights In Radon Canyon

Teddy Williams, over at the Desert Flower Bowling Alley & Arcade Fun Complex, has an update on the doorway into that vast underground city he found in the pin retrieval area of lane five. He says that every window of the city is now glowing both day and night, and he heard the shouts and footsteps of what sounded like an army marching upwards toward the world above. He also said that given that nothing really matters now, bowling is half off and each game comes with a free basket of wings.

Mm, nothing like those Desert Flower wings.

Let me leave you with this, dear listeners. We lead frantic lives, filled with needs and responsibilities, but completely devoid of any actual purpose. I say, let’s try to enjoy the simple things. Life should be like a basket of chicken wings: salty, full of fat and vinegar, and surrounded by celery you’ll never actually eat, even when you’re greedily sopping up the last viscous streaks of buffalo sauce from the wax paper with your spit-stained index finger. Yes… that is as life should be, Night Vale.

Stay tuned for a special live broadcast of the Night Vale Symphony Orchestra performing Eugene O’Neill’s classic play The Iceman Cometh. It is a good night, listeners. Good night.

11.3 – Wheat & Wheat By-Products

New information on the Apache Tracker, who you might remember as that white guy who wears the cartoonishly inaccurate and offensive Indian headdress, and who disappeared some weeks ago after investigating the strange occurrences at the Night Vale Post Office. Well, word is in that he has reappeared, except it now seems he is actually Native American.

Witnesses say his features are still recognizable but during the disappearance he has transformed into that which he always absurdly claimed to be.

More explanation, of course, is needed, but the Apache Tracker is also now only able to speak Russian, and I did not bother to get his statement translated. Apparently he has been taking to leaning on the hood of an old Honda Accord in the parking lot of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, shaking his head slowly and checking his watch.

Does his complete racial transformation make his previous actions less offensive, listeners? Write us a letter telling us what you think, and then put it away in a drawer for ten years. Reading it again, you’ll get a little pang of nostalgia for the person you used to be, once upon a time.

11.14 – Wheat & Wheat By-Products

News from Old Woman Josie out near the car lot. She reports that the angels have gathered in a circle in her living room, blocking her view of the television.

They are shoulder-to-shoulder, facing each other, radiant with holy light. The bowling alley, they are chanting. The bowling alley.

She says that a repeat of The West Wing she had really hoped to watch is on, and she is quite annoyed by her usually considerate angelic houseguests.

More on this story, maybe, if there ever is more.

13.8 – A Story About You

The crate is in your kitchen where you left it, and you get down on your knees to embrace it more fully. It has grown warmer, even hot. It still is not ticking. It had taken you no time to get back home. Now that you think about it, were there any other cars on the road? Where did all the cars go? The man with the semaphore flags explaining the speed limit – he wasn’t there either. Your heart pounds.

Without allowing another stray thought to wander through your mind and delay you, you grab the crate and throw it in your trunk. You turn the ignition, and your car radio comes alive with a pop, just as the announcer says that your car radio comes alive with a pop.

Where to now? You don’t know, but you go there anyway. A pair of headlights, a pair of eyes, and two shaky hands, speeding through the silent town. Behind you, you see helicopter searchlights sweeping down onto your trailer. There are sirens. A purplish cloud hangs over the town, glittering occasionally as it rotates. The whole works.

You drive past the Moonlite All-Nite, still aglow and full of people eating what sounds good only late at night, and Teddy Williams’ Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, which has taken to not only locking but barricading its doors at closing time. You pass by City Hall, which, as always, is completely shrouded after dark in black velvet.

Moving farther out, following the pull of the distant, uncertain moon, you pass by the car lot, where the salesmen have been put away for the night, and Old Woman Josie’s house, where the only sign that the unassuming little home could be a place of residence for angels is the bright halo of heavenly light surrounding it, and the sign out front that says “Angels’ Residence”. And the town is behind you, and you are out in the scrub lands, and the sand wastes. By the road you see a man, holding a cactus in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other. He shakes both at you as you pass, and howls.

14.5 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

Over the weekend, Teddy Williams, owner of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, sent us some security camera footage of what he believes to be the first-ever glimpse of citizens of the underground city deep below Lane Five. Early Saturday morning, Fun Complex cameras picked up blurry motion near the soda machine.

The footage is quite fuzzy and difficult to discern. Perhaps it is merely rats or raccoons, digging through an uncovered supply of junk food, but it is, of course, much more likely that a lost nation of people, living in the bowels of a small-town bowling alley, are finally revealing themselves, taking our food supplies, and preparing for war.

Teddy told us that he believes this city to be thousands strong and ready to move into Night Vale, ready to take arms against the ‘upper world’ as they probably call us, ready to conquer this heaven and become the righteous owners of our sun-soaked precious land, we assume. It takes very little extrapolation to believe that they worship a god called Hunto-Karr, who demands sacrifice to keep their underground city thriving in the absence of nourishing sunlight, and a fair assumption is they are ruled by a child-king, recently coronated, who is too weak to rein back the generals intent on marching upon us in war.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you care for your community, your town, your Night Vale like I do, you will arm yourselves. You will rally your neighbors to militia. You will point fingers at those who do not wish to fight and have them rounded up into pens. This is no time for the weak. We are at a presumptive war with a projected enemy whom we cannot see, or even be certain of, but who are probably bloodthirsty giants. If you would like to learn more about starting a militia, simply learn to be a true American. That’s how you’ll know.

And remember, Night Vale is at war. Your careless talk costs lives. They know we are here, and it seems somebody talked. Who was it, Night Vale? Was it Steve Carlsberg? Did Steve Carlsberg talk? Maybe a group of good citizens should go have a chat with Steve and find out what he’s been saying, and to whom. Stay by your radios, listeners. We will report further as events warrant.

14.12 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

Ladies and gentlemen, during the break, I received a call from someone claiming to be an angel. Now, I don’t know if this was a prank or not, as no one has ever actually proven that they’ve talked to an angel. Even Old Woman Josie’s word is just that, her word.

But listeners, I think this has to have been an angel, because my face became hot, and the voice filled every part of my body, and tears were flowing down my face the instant I touched the phone receiver, and the whole room was lit up in, well, how can I describe this? A bright black beam illuminating every atomic detail. And the angel, if that is indeed who called, the angel said that the Man in the Tan Jacket with the deerskin suitcase was from a place underneath the earth. Underneath our knowledge, a vast world right below our feet.

I asked for more, but the angel, if that is indeed who called, whispered, “A flower in the desert.” and if filled me with ecstasy and dread. Then the call ended, and the black ray of truth was gone, and I was breathless and alone. And dear listeners, the silence, well. It was unlike any silence you have ever not heard.

So our mystery man remains unfound, and I’m still not sure why an angel would have to use a telephone, but for now, we can only know what we know. And that is that we don’t know.

Thank you again for listening, listeners. I look forward to another fine year, a new year, well-spent with all of you out there. Stay tuned next for two commercial-free hours of E sharp. Good night, Night Vale. Be alert, and write down everything you cannot comprehend Until next time.

16.5 – The Phone Call

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.