3.7 – Station Management

Another warning for Night Vale residents: sources say that the used and discount sporting goods store on Flint Drive is a front for the world government. This is based on extensive study of the location, and also because it has a black helicopter pad on which black helicopters regularly depart and land. Fairly unusual for a used and discount sporting goods store.

We sent our intern Chad to try buying a tennis racket, and have not heard back from him for several weeks. This brings me to a related point: to the parents of Chad the intern, we regret to inform you that your son was lost in the line of community radio duty, and that he will be missed, and never forgotten. May you all feel blessed to have the family that you have. And if you’re looking for sporting goods, check out Play Ball, right by our own local community radio station. Play Ball is only a front for the Sheriff’s Secret Police, and so can be completely trusted.

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3.12 – Station Management

Hello? Radio audience…

[Ominous rumbling continues.]

I come to you live from under my desk, where I’ve dragged my microphone and am currently huddling in the fetal position.

[Roaring shriek.]

Did you write letters? You should not do this anymore. Station Management has opened its door for the first time in my memory and is now roaming the building.

I don’t exactly know what Management looks like, as that is when I took cover under my desk— and I can only hope that they are not listening to what’s going out right now, or else I may have sealed my fate. I can hear only a kind of clicking footstep, and faint hissing sound, like releasing steam.

An intern went to see what Management wanted, and has not returned. If you are related to Jerry Hartman, afternoon board operator at Night Vale Community Radio, I am sorry to inform you that he is probably dead, or at least corporeally absorbed into Management, permanently. Jerry and Chad, the interns, will both be missed, but we will surely see them in the Thanksgiving Day Dead Citizens Impersonation Contest, which this year will be in the employee lounge under the Night Vale Mall from 11 AM to 9:45 PM. There will be a cash bar and two Twister boards.

[Louder ominous rumbling. Cecil gasps.]

I’m going to see if I can make a break for the door. If you don’t hear from me again, it has truly been a pleasure.

Good night, Night Vale. And goodbye…

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.

9.5 – “PYRAMID”

Ladies and gentlemen, I must say that I am not a cat person, but I have really grown to love Khoshekh, the stray cat that has made his home here at the radio station. I discovered Khoshekh several weeks ago, hovering in a fixed location in the men’s bathroom, and he’s remained there ever since. The men at the station, of course, have taken to keeping the sink at a light trickle, so he can get water, and we even take turns buying Science Diet low-calorie cat food. It turns out little Khoshekh is getting a bit chubby, since he can’t actually exercise in his unmovable, levitating state.

Oh, and thanks to our new intern, Brad, we finally solved the litter problem. Brad is very excellent at both carpentry and dark magic. So, he rigged us up a fine-looking litterbox that our floating feline friend can reach. He’s just adorable, that cat.

As a lifelong dog lover, I’ve really turned the corner. Khoshekh is wonderful. I know several others here at the station who feel the same way. After meeting Khoshekh, Michaela, who works in sales, put her three-year-old Weimaraner to sleep and then adopted six tabby kittens— she’s that much of a convert. Make sure to take some cute videos, Michaela.

And for others of you interested in getting a new cat, the Night Vale SPCA strongly recommends that you have your cat spayed or neutered, bring them in for their shots, and, once the cat reaches eighteen months, begin using the little beast to harvest human organs for those “just in case” moments. The SPCA has several one-sheets on preventing heartworms, and using pets to grow small replacement organs. To get your copy, go online, or simply make up your own informative facts.

12.3 – The Candidate

Breaking news; we’ve received confirmation from the Sheriff’s Secret Police that Hiram McDaniels was finally apprehended.

McDaniels has been on the lam since August. He was wanted on several counts of insurance fraud, falsifying identification papers, evading arrest, and assaulting a police vehicle with fire. McDaniels was spotted near his Earl Road apartment early Saturday morning by several alert neighbors. The neighbors said they were able to identify McDaniels because he matched police sketches of an eighteen-foot-tall five-headed dragon that had been posted across Night Vale. Fingerprints later confirmed that McDaniels was definitely a dragon.

Secret Police are still unsure of McDaniels’ motives for returning home, and, well, listeners, our station intern Stacy just handed me a photo of Hiram McDaniels. He’s a very dynamic looking dragon. The raw power. The intensity in those five faces, those many sets of blue and red and black and green and yellow eyes. I can certainly see how he charmed his way out of an arrest. He must never get tickets. What a guy.

12.5 – The Candidate

An interesting note on Hiram McDaniels: intern Stacy tells me that she’s been googling the roguish dragon. Did you know that he has a blog? He’s a really smart fellow! Some really groundbreaking ideas. Here’s one post from last week:

‘If I were mayor of Night Vale, I would give incentives for small business development, and focus on youth physical fitness programs. Human youth are the human future, after all.’

Well, it seems a certain multi-headed fugitive wants to become mayor of Night Vale. You have my vote, Hiram.

15.8 – Street Cleaning Day

From time to time, listeners, I like to bring a little education to our show. Throw out some interesting facts or mind fuel. Today I’d like to share some fascinating facts about clouds. Clouds are made up of [BEEP]. Rain clouds are formed when [BEEP] air. When the density of the humid air, a.k.a. the cloud, becomes [BEEP], that’s when it rains. Lightning is [BEEP]. And it’s important to [BEEP] can kill you, or at least cause you a great deal of body-altering pain and regret. But take some time to stop and look at the clouds. They are beautiful, wondrous creations!

Wait. I’ve just been handed a piece of red paper by one of the Sheriff’s Secret Police officers.

[whispering] I can tell that’s what he was because of his short cape, blow dart chest belt, and tight leather balaclava.

Dear listeners, I’ve been told to inform you that you are to stop looking at the clouds immediately. Stop knowing about the clouds. Intern Stacy tells me in my headset here that they’ve also been censoring my broadcast. Well, I back our public protectors, and if they say to stop knowing about whatever it was was talking about, then I’ll stop knowing about it. Let’s go now to the sounds of predatory birds.

[cawing, screeching, hooting]

16.11 – The Phone Call

Before we go, intern Stacy just handed me this. The Sheriff’s Secret Police would like to issue a correction to their earlier special alert. In their warning, they stated that memorizing a very specific list would keep you safe. This is incorrect. According to the new statement, quote, ‘We are not safe. We are all being hunted by time and our own deceitful bodies. Memorizing the list will merely prevent additional external pain beyond that which you experience daily just by being alive. The Sheriff’s Secret Police regret the error.’ End quote.

That’s it for our news. Stay tuned next for a community-wide frisson of cosmic fright. Thank you again, Night Vale! May you too find love in this dark desert. May it be as permanent as the blinking lights, and as comforting as the dull roar of space. Good night, Night Vale. Good night.

17.9 – Valentine

More post-Valentine’s Day news.  The Night Vale Mall’s planned Valentin’s Day art installation, involving footage of actual beating animal hearts projected on a vivisected teddy bear, was cancelled due to the entire mall being flooded with poisonous gas.  The gas was described as ‘difficult to breathe’ and ‘a major cause of death to everyone who stood in it’.  Mall PR officials expressed regret at the cancellation, saying, ‘Man, it’s like every time an artist has a bold new idea, the system has to come in and shut them down.’  They concluded by muttering, ‘It stinks man!  It stinks’, before going off to sulk in the Red Cross medical tent.  

Emergency workers, meanwhile, report coming across a stash of unactivated Valentine’s Day cards, forcing them to cease operations until a specialized team could be called in to deal with the danger.  Three workers died before they could retreat. Also, Night Vale community radio intern Stacy died a couple of months ago, soon after our last mention of her.  Our sympathies go to the loved ones of those who are lost, especially Stacy.  Sorry that I didn’t get around to telling you until now.  That was totally my fault.