5.13 – The Shape In Grove Park

And now, a continuation of our previous investigation into whether I am literally the only person in the world, speaking to myself in a fit of madness caused by my inability to admit the tragedy of my own existence. Leland, our newest intern, recently brought me a cup of coffee. He is no longer in my field of vision, but I do still have the cup of coffee, which is well-made, and is giving me the needed pick-me-up to continue considering this terrifying possibility.

Is it possible that I only imagined Leland, and forgot making myself this cup of coffee? But then, who would have grown this coffee? Where was this cup procured from?

Oh. Leland’s back in the room. He’s waving at me. Hello, Leland. And he’s saying— wait, what was that, Leland? I see.

He’s saying that the Shape has turned a molten red and is causing small whirlwinds in front of our radio station doors. There is apparently a sound of a great many voices chanting, as though it were an army giving out a battle cry before raining down destruction on our arid little hamlet.

Oh? He has stopped shouting, and is now writing furiously on a piece of paper. I have to say, Leland’s existence, as well as his finally speaking about the Shape that no one else would speak about, has reassured me greatly about my lonely and solipsistic vigil here at this microphone. He is handing me the note, thank you, Leland… let me see, here…

Ah. It says that the City Council believes the reason for the violent reaction of the Shape Formerly In Grove Park that no one acknowledges or speaks about is because I have been acknowledging and speaking about it, which has made it angry. They urge me to stop speaking of it and never do it again, and in exchange, they’ll move it somewhere else so we can get our front loading zone back.

After brief consideration, I have decided to accept the Council’s offer, because they are trustworthy leaders looking out for our better future, and also because Leland just got vaporized by a strange red light emanating from the station entrance.

To the family of Leland, we thank you for his service to the cause of community radio, and join you in mourning his loss. And, without further ado— nor ever again mentioning anything we shouldn’t— let’s go to the weather.

[“Jerusalem” by Dan Bern.]

5.14 – The Shape In Grove Park

Hello, listeners. In breaking news: the sky. The earth. Life. Existence as an unchanging plane with horizons of birth and death in the faint distance. We have nothing to speak about. There never was. Words are an unnecessary trouble. Expression is time, wasting away. Any communication is just a yelp in the darkness. Ladies, gentlemen, listeners, you… I am speaking now, but I am saying nothing. I am just making noises and as it happens, they are organized in words, and you should not draw meaning from this.

The service for Leland will be lovely. We will throw flowers and weep. He will be buried in the break room, as is the custom. His family will come and moon about the coffee as though we have answers. We do not have answers. I am not certain that we even have questions. I have chosen to not be certain of anything at all.

This is Cecil, generally, speaking to you, metaphorically, for Night Vale Community Radio. And I would like to say, in the most nebulous terms possible, and with no real world implications or insinuations of objective meaning… good night, listeners. Good night.