11.7 – Wheat & Wheat By-Products

Property taxes are going up again, Night Vale. Several citizens are justifiably upset by this latest increase, but municipal services do, after all, cost money.

Schools, public transportation, parks and recreation facilities, and of course, the multi-billion dollar Pulsar Development Facility. Speaking of which, scientists say they are on the verge of developing the first ever human-made neutron star.

Usually the aftermath of a supernova, this pulsar would be roughly four miles in diameter, but with a nearly incomprehensible density that makes it about half the mass of our own sun.

And to think, this rapidly rotating sphere of radioactive matter will be right here under the sands of Night Vale, producing enough energy to power the Earth for billions of years!

The city of Night Vale plans to use the pulsar to light the high school football stadium, which still uses whale oil lamps.

John Peters, you know, the farmer, is particularly upset. Not only about the pulsar development, but also about the higher taxes.

As owner of more than a hundred and fifty acres, John will certainly have to pay a large share, and given that John is a peach farmer in the desert, he hasn’t actually raised a successful crop, ever.

His only income is his half a million dollar annual subsidy for imaginary corn, which has been one of Night Vale’s greatest exports. People come from all over, even Desert Bluffs, unfortunately, to buy his imaginary corn.

I like to butter up a piece of bread and then rub the imaginary corn along it, and then sprinkle it with a little bit of salt and cayenne. Boy, is that a delicious and low-carcinogen summer treat!

But even our town heroes like John Peters, you know, the farmer, have to pay their fair share. No citizen is above paying taxes.

Well… except Marcus Vanston, but that’s understandable because he’s so wealthy.

When you’re worth as much as Marcus Vanston, you have proved your value to society through hard work and determination, and are no longer required to show anyone any further proof that you care about anything or anybody else, because you obviously do– look at all your money!

According to some, Marcus is worth over five billion dollars, and that’s five billion reasons Marcus is our town’s greatest citizen.

13.6 – A Story About You

A man slides into the booth across from you. You recognize him vaguely, although he looks considerably different now. It is that man who appeared to be of Slavic origin, but who dressed in an absurd caricature of an Indian chief and called himself the Apache Tracker. Except now, it’s difficult for you to miss, he has actually transformed into a Native American. You wonder if the pie will get there soon. The Apache Tracker smells of potting soil and sweat. He leans across the table and touches your hand, lightly.

You do not pull the hand away, because you know that there will be no consequence for any of this.

“Вы в опасности.” (Vy v opasnosti. You are in danger.) he says. “Они идут.” (Oni idut. They are coming).

You nod. He taps the table. Then, bringing his thick eyebrows together and pursing his lips, he leans down and taps the ground. You nod again.

“I think my pie is here now,” you say unnecessarily, as the pie is quite visibly placed in front of you.

You did not order invisible pie. You hate invisible pie.

He looks at the pie for a long time, and then lets his breath hiss out slowly through his nose.

“Они придут снизу. Пироги не помогут.” (Oni pridut snizu. Pirogi ne pomogut. They are arriving from below. Pies will not help.) He leaves. What an asshole that guy is!

 

[Cyrillic & translations provided by anonymous Tumblr users and noaarmstro, with help from annachibi.]

15.3 – Street Cleaning Day

John Peters, you know, the farmer? He reports finding an old oak door standing unsupported by any other structure out in the scrub lands. He says he’s sure it wasn’t there yesterday, or pretty sure, anyway. As sure as he can be since the accident. Apparently there is knocking from the door, as if there were someone from some other side that does not exist in our narrow, fragile reality trying to get in.

He has added several deadbolts and chains to the door on both sides, unsure as to which direction the door opens, which is, by the way, a huge design flaw. One should always know which way a door opens merely by looking at it, if the designer has done their job, and this holds true whether it’s a bank of glass doors at the mall, or an unspeakably old wooden door leading to other worlds than these.

John, meanwhile, says he will keep a sleepless vigil upon the door, as any sleep merely leads to dreams of blurry shapes in the dim distance, advancing, hissing, upon this vulnerable planet. He also says the imaginary corn is coming in real good, and we should have a nice crop to choose from soon, especially now that it will be available for sale at the Green Market.