9.9 – “PYRAMID”

The Department of Public Safety announced that all street signs in Night Vale will be replaced with traffic cops wielding semaphore flags. Drivers will be required to learn this physically expressive maritime alphabet. This decision is not without its controversy, as the existing street signs are entirely in Braille.

One critic, Paul Birmingham, says removing these signs will deflate the Earth. As a member of the Air-Filled Earth Society, Paul believes that Earth is a precariously inflated orb that could pop or sag at any moment. “We’ve gotta stop teaching all this religious propaganda in our schools and start teaching real science!” Paul shouted from his lean-to behind the library. I have to admit, listeners, he makes a valid point.

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.

14.11 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

Let’s go now to traffic.

There is a car. It’s not in Night Vale, or even in the desert that cradles our little town. It’s out somewhere beyond that. There are many cars there, but I’m speaking only about one. Blue, squarish, with tires and windows and an engine that works, most of the time. A woman is driving it, and she is also glancing whenever she can at the child in the passenger’s seat. He is a child, but he is 15. You understand. She is glancing at him, but she is not saying anything. And he is not saying anything either.

She wants to cry, or she wants to push him out of the car, or she wants to go back in time and insist on using a condom– only she would never do that. She couldn’t change any of this really, not for all the money, piles of money, some of it defunct money from defunct and absent governments. She wouldn’t give any of this back. So she drives her car, blue, squarish, with tires and windows and an engine that works most of the time, and she glances at the fifteen-year-old child, and neither of them speaks.

This has been traffic.

And now… the weather.

[“Movement 1: Invocation of the Duke” by daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra. More from daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra at myspace.com/daKAH.]