8.11 – The Lights In Radon Canyon

This just in. We’re receiving word from the City Council that there was absolutely not a Pink Floyd Multimedia Laser Spectacular this weekend at Radon Canyon. That there was never a Pink Floyd Multimedia Laser Spectacular ever near Night Vale. “Pink Floyd is not even a thing,” said the Council, in a very stern but quiet statement just received by me, here, via phone.

The Council— and this is strange— the entire Council, not just a representative of the Council, the entire Council issued this statement, all speaking in unison, just now, over the phone: that Night Vale citizens are prohibited from discussing any lights or sounds coming from Radon Canyon this past weekend, and that they should just stop remembering Pink Floyd shows altogether. The Council reiterated that there is no way that they are huge Floyd fans, privately using public funds on a laser-powered séance to talk hard-rocking classic jams with the ghost of original front man Syd Barrett, and that Syd wouldn’t even say anything juicy anyway, because he is such a gentleman, and an artist. This did not happen at all.

So, listeners, we urge you to look away from Radon Canyon. Avert your eyes, ears, and memories from that which is no longer allowed you. Comfort and distract yourselves with dense food and television programming.

As the old adage goes, “A life of pain is the pain of life. And you can never escape it, only hope it hides unknown in a drawer like a poisonous spider and never comes out again, even though it probably will in unexpected and horrific fashion, scaring you from being able to comfortably conduct even the most mundane, quotidian tasks.” Or, at least, that’s how my grandparents always phrased it.

And now, the weather.

[“This Too Shall Pass” by Danny Schmidt.]

12.4 – The Candidate

An unsigned press release I found under my pillow this morning announces the following: there is a free party this Friday at the abandoned missile silo outside of town. The purpose of this party is to celebrate. There will be no sign, or music, but the party is inside the silo.

This party takes place at 3 a.m. and will be over at three oh five. It will be dark, both inside and outside the silo. Grope blindly towards happiness. Keep your mouth open and your teeth together to indicate you are at a party. You will hear noises, and later, you will not. This party will feature special guest Bon Jovi, although he does not yet know it. See you there.

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!

14.7 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

The Night Vale Daily Journal has announced that, despite cost-cutting measures and mandatory subscription laws, it is facing a huge budget shortfall this year.

“We cannot pay back our printers, or our delivery crews,” said editor Leann Hart, in a prepared statement whispered through my mail slot late last night. “And we have already had to banish much of our staff into the sand wastes of the desert.”

She went on to explain that this ‘budget shortfall’ has nothing to do with the reported lavish birthday party she threw for herself in Night Vale Stadium, featuring a lazy river made entirely of champagne, and a birthday cake topped with very thin slices of moon rock. In an addendum she tapped in Morse code on my bathroom window, she said that the Journal is considering all new sources of income, including creating additional advertising space and mugging Night Vale citizens, and that I shouldn’t mention the whole birthday party thing after all… because she was never even born, so how could she have had a birthday party? She spent the rest of the night tapping out the phrase ‘Birthdays are a fake idea,’ which actually was a pretty relaxing sound to fall asleep to.

14.12 – The Man In The Tan Jacket

Ladies and gentlemen, during the break, I received a call from someone claiming to be an angel. Now, I don’t know if this was a prank or not, as no one has ever actually proven that they’ve talked to an angel. Even Old Woman Josie’s word is just that, her word.

But listeners, I think this has to have been an angel, because my face became hot, and the voice filled every part of my body, and tears were flowing down my face the instant I touched the phone receiver, and the whole room was lit up in, well, how can I describe this? A bright black beam illuminating every atomic detail. And the angel, if that is indeed who called, the angel said that the Man in the Tan Jacket with the deerskin suitcase was from a place underneath the earth. Underneath our knowledge, a vast world right below our feet.

I asked for more, but the angel, if that is indeed who called, whispered, “A flower in the desert.” and if filled me with ecstasy and dread. Then the call ended, and the black ray of truth was gone, and I was breathless and alone. And dear listeners, the silence, well. It was unlike any silence you have ever not heard.

So our mystery man remains unfound, and I’m still not sure why an angel would have to use a telephone, but for now, we can only know what we know. And that is that we don’t know.

Thank you again for listening, listeners. I look forward to another fine year, a new year, well-spent with all of you out there. Stay tuned next for two commercial-free hours of E sharp. Good night, Night Vale. Be alert, and write down everything you cannot comprehend Until next time.

16.4 – The Phone Call

Listeners, guess who called me this weekend. Well, hey, I don’t like to talk too much about my personal life here. This is your community news station, not Cecil’s Personal Life Station, right? Okay, fine. I’ll just say it.

Carloooos!

Carlos, the dark, delicate-skinned scientist who came into our little town and our littler hearts several months ago. Well, I gave him my home phone number quite a while back, and he never called, and I didn’t think anything of it, right? I mean, sometimes people just don’t call, and that’s okay.

Well, to the point: Carlos called, and I’m like, ‘Hellooo?’ Like I don’t even have caller ID, and he’s like ‘I need to talk to you. This is important.’ And I’m like, ‘Ummm, okay.’ I mean, that’s pretty forward, right, listeners? But I can’t tell exactly what he wants yet! And he said ‘Cecil.’ Just the sound of his caramel voice. ‘Cecil,’ he says. ‘Cecil. I think time is slowing down in Night Vale,’ and then I said, after a slow sip of Armagnac, ‘Ohhhh?’

And perfect Carlos said, ‘Last week, seven days, twenty four hours each day, sixty minutes in each hour. That’s ten thousand eighty minutes in a week, right?’

‘Uh-huh. Go on!’ I said, trying to sound like someone with a normal pulse whose palms were not sweating.

‘Well, I ran some figures, and during that same amount of time in Night Vale, eleven thousand seven hundred eighty-three minutes elapsed everywhere else in the world. That’s more than a full day longer. I don’t know what’s happening.’

So that’s what Carlos said! Listeners, what do you think? I feel like time always slows down when we’re together, Carlos and I. Is that what he’s trying to say? I feel that way too!

But I didn’t say it, I just said, ohh, this is bad… I just said, ‘Neat!’ Ugh. How embarrassing. I mean, Carlos is sooo smart, and he says sooo many smart things! And I’m not dumb! I like science and municipally-approved books just as much as the next guy, so I can’t believe that’s all I could say to him. ‘Neat.’ But I did manage to ask if he wanted to get together sometime, and talk some more about this really fascinating subject. He said no, but he needed me to help get the word out and see if anyone has noticed a massive time-shift, so that’s what I’m doing now. Anything for the scientific community. I’m very into science these days.

Wow! Can you believe he called me?

16.9 – The Phone Call

Listeners, I can hardly stand it any longer. During the past few stories, my phone has been silently buzzing. You guessed who! Given that I am a radio host and it is therefore my duty to read you the news, it would be completely inappropriate for me to answer my phone regardless of how much I want to soak my ears in the oaky tones of our community’s most significant outsider. But. Well. He left me some voicemails. This may be a bit unorthodox, but I need your help, dear listeners, to determine where Carlos is going with all of this! Let’s listen to these together, okay? What do you think he’s trying to say?

First saved message:

[Carlos:]
Cecil, sorry to bother you. I need you to get the word out that clocks in Night Vale are not real. I have not found a single real clock. I have disassembled several watches and clocks this week and all of them are hollow inside. No gears, no crystal, no battery or power source. Some of them actually contain a gelatinous grey lump that seems to be growing hair, and teeth. I need to know if all clocks are this way, Cecil. This is ve –

[whispering] There’s something at my door, Cecil. I need to go, okay? I’ll call you back in… well, I don’t know.

End of message.

Next message:

[Carlos whispering:]
There’s a man in a jacket holding a leather suitcase outside my door, Cecil. He’s not knocking, he’s just standing in front of my door. I can’t make out his face. I’m peering through a crack in the living room blinds. – Oh no, he saw me!

End of message.

Next message:

[Carlos:]
Sorry about that, Cecil. I forget what I was doing. I think somebody came over, but I don’t remember who or what for. Anyway, I need to meet you. Are you free tomorrow afternoon? You have a contact number for the mayor and someone with the police, right? It’s important that I find them, and again, can you get the word out on your radio show about the clocks?

End of message.

Did you hear that, listeners? A date! Let’s go to the weather!

[“Those Days Are Gone And My Heart Is Breaking” by Barton Carroll.]

19A.9 – The Sandstorm

Listeners, I have some bad news and some, uh, good news. Dana is dead! But the other Dana is alive, and I don’t know which is the original and which is the double. Right now, one of the Danas is standing above her own corpse, panting. I cannot tell if she is grinning or grimacing. When I went in, she had clutched in one hand a broken stapler, and in the other, a printout of this email from… oh, God. This is the bad news I was talking about. An email from Steve Carlsberg. I don’t even want to read an email from that jerk, but if printing it out was one of the Dana’s final actions, I must honor her efforts.

Steve… ugh. Steve writes: ‘The sandstorm is clearly a coverup. I believe this was a government-created project. Our government has long been participating in cloud-seeding experiments, and trying to suppress the people with pharmaceuticals. I believe that this government will stop at nothing in order to…’

Now you listen here, Steve Carlsberg. You’re not saying anything new, Steve. Of course the sandstorm was created by the government. The City Council announced that this morning. The government makes no secret that they can control the weather, and earthquakes, and monitor thoughts and activities. That’s the stuff a big government is supposed to do! Obviously, you have never read the Constitution.

Okay, sure, government can be very inefficient, and sometimes bloated and corrupt, but the answer is not to complain about everything that they do. Without government, we would never have schools or roads or municipal utilities or helpful pandemics or black vans that roam our neighborhoods at night keeping us safe. So please, Steve Carlsberg, I’ve had enough of your government-bashing.

And with that, dear listeners, let’s go to the – oh my. Look at that. Listeners, there is a black, almost indigo, vortex that has formed along my studio wall. Listeners, words fail me. It is so beautiful. I can’t leave you, as our show is not yet over, but there must be something beyond this something, Night Vale. I must see what it is. I must go. I will try not to be long, listeners. I will try not to be long…