6.8 – The Drawbridge

Notice. There is no digital, staticky hum coming from the dog park, Mayor Pamela Winchell announced today. The mayor stressed repeatedly in her ninety-second impromptu press conference that there is no unbearable, soul-tearing sound that rips at the sinews of your very being coming from the dog park. Mayor Winchell continued with a plea for all Night Vale residents to understand that there could not possibly be a deeply coded message emanating from a small, fenced-in patch of municipal grass and dirt.

Citizens are not even supposed to be consciously aware of the dog park, so they could not possibly be receiving a menacing and unearthly voice instructing listeners to bring precious metals and toddlers to the dog park. “Dog park,” she repeated. “That could never, ever be real,” the mayor shouted, pounding the podium with her bleeding fists. There were no follow-up questions.

10.12 – Feral Dogs

Ladies and gentlemen, good news. Mayor Pamela Winchell called a press conference moments ago, declaring an end to our dog pack terror. The mayor announced that the dogs were not actually dogs. Just some plastic bags caught in the breeze that people mistook for wild dogs.

“There are no wild dogs in Night Vale,” she said, “and if there were, they’d be sweet little dogs with big, meaningless eyes and tongues like flypaper.” The plastic bags, meanwhile, have been safely returned to the dog park from whence they came, and which is to remain unknowable and unremembered.

Journalists asked about the injuries and aftermath of this morning’s dog-pack-related crimes and injuries. The mayor responded with a hollow stare. She promptly shook the podium off its base and whispered through gritted teeth, “Plastic bags. Plastic. Bags.” The Sheriff’s Secret Police then ethically kettled the pool of reporters, gently coercing them with pepper spray. Most were taken away peacefully in handcuffs and black hoods.

Thank goodness it was all a misunderstanding. Dear listeners, I don’t want to say I told you so… but wasn’t I right when I said we were a determined, resilient little town? In the face of wild beasts, we did not crumble. We did not back down. We stood eye to eye with violence and it blinked first.

Stand proud, Night Vale! Be afraid on the inside, of course. You are, after all, your own downfall. But stand proud against those predators that would harm your family.

And that is our show. Thank you for listening, listeners. Stay tuned next for the popular advice program “Dr. Brandon.” This week, Dr. Brandon offers a step-by-step on how to remove your own appendix without surgery.

The sky tonight is a soft, quivering green. The wind is calm, but prepared. Get your sleep, Night Vale, and don’t forget to dream. Good night.

12.8 – The Candidate

Dear listeners, right after we reported on Hiram McDaniels’ interest in becoming mayor, the dirty campaign tactics came into play, stirring up bad feelings, and slinging the old municipal mud. Incumbent mayor Pamela Winchell issued a statement citing township bylaws that prohibit prisoners from running for public office.

Now, isn’t it just like a career politician, such as Mayor Winchell, to make such unethical, ad hominem attacks on a great reptilian beast, simply because he is in jail?  It sounds to me like the mayor is feeling McDaniels breathing down her neck!  Breathing dragon fire, that is. Give ‘em hell, Hiram!

12.11 – The Candidate

During the break, I received a message from Mayor Winchell’s office responding to our previous reports. According to the mayor, mayoral elections aren’t for another three years, and Hiram McDaniels is ineligible to run, not only because of his jail stay, but also because he is neither a Night Vale resident, nor a human being. There is, she says, no precedent for a five-headed dragon as elected official.

Mayor Winchell also pointed out that writing the throwaway phrase ‘If I were mayor of Night Vale’ on a blog is not an official declaration of candidacy. “There is paperwork!” Mayor Winchell shouted into my voicemail. “You can’t just… argh!” she continued, trailing off slightly at the end. What followed was about ninety-five seconds of loud stomping, and what sounded like wood chopping in the distance, before the message finally ended.

Allow me a retort, dear listeners, with this brief editorial: With all due respect, Madame Mayor, have we not had enough dragon-bashing? Our great country once held to some terrible old customs, but we grew up. We learned. We abolished slavery. Women won the right to vote. Ghosts can now marry, but of course, not have children. I mean, that would be a real slippery slope. And our own little burg is on the verge of becoming the first city in this great nation to legalize time travel.

So let’s loosen our collars. Let’s march into the reptilian future, not cling to the narrow past. Just because a dragon is a dragon, and has five heads, doesn’t mean he can’t lead our community. Sure, critics will say, ‘Oh, but Cecil! What if his five heads don’t agree on something? What if one’s like, Yeah, let’s build this school! But another’s like, No more schools. And the others are drunk or sleepy or something? How can we agree to elect five heads that can’t agree with themselves?’

To this, I say shame on you for your negative stereotypes of multi-headed beings. Free your mind! The rest, as our official town song says, will follow. The song also says, “Lap deeply of the scarlet mud, after the bloodrains of the apocalypse,” but I don’t think that quite applies here. So with this, I am proud to offer my endorsement of Hiram McDaniels for Mayor of Night Vale. Sure, the election isn’t for three years, but it’s never too early to effect change. And in that time, we will rally. We will petition to get what we want. And soon, a great leader will rise. Lead us to that future, Hiram!

17.10 – Valentine

Mayor Pamela Winchell issued the following statement today in regards to the increasing public support for her ouster and replacement by dashing inmate and blogger Hiram McDaniels. Winchell said, ‘The Mayor smells of olives. The Mayor burns like a match tip and casts her flickering light on the darkened path of fate. The Mayor does not have keys to the Stone Door. The Mayor is the Stone Door, and all that quivers behind it. The Mayor is forgiving. The Mayor makes no mistakes. The Mayor clutches tightly to your lungs, all six arms embracing your savory breaths. Let the Mayor out. Let the Mayor out. Let the Mayor out.’

There were no follow-up questions, but the press pool did let out a simultaneous ‘Ohmmmm’, as fire burst forth from the podium and the conference room ceiling flew away, revealing a midday night sky that had grown cancerous with blinking stars.

McDaniels is still in jail, awaiting trial for insurance fraud and evasion of arrest. He has previously announced interest in becoming mayor of Night Vale and is a thirty-six hundred pound five-headed dragon.

19A.7 – The Sandstorm

This just in, Night Vale: Mayor Pamela Winchell has declared a state of emergency. She has asked that if you are still outside, you return home immediately. A second announcement, shortly after, says that she was lying and that you shouldn’t listen to her. She’s not the real mayor. I am. A third announcement followed, requesting that you give me the microphone and get away from the podium. This is my press conference, you replicant clown! The press conference then erupted into shouts of ‘Phony!’ and ‘Imposter!’ as the press corps suddenly doubled and began fighting itself.

Night Vale, do be careful. I fear the sandstorm to be quite a terrible event. Please, stay safe inside, and should you see yourself, I cannot condone murdering yourself. I just don’t believe violence is ever the answer. It is a question. The real answer is far more terrifying. So, make peace with your double, Night Vale. Do not be tempted to draw swords or guns. We can get along.

Oh, dear. What… what was that noise? Dana? Is everything okay in there, Dana? Who are you fighting? Dana, put down that letter opener! Dana, put away the… I’m coming in there. Um, let’s go to a word from our sponsor.