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.]

Advertisements

19A.10 – The Sandstorm

[A different, cheerful male voice speaks.]

Hello? Hello, Desert Bluffs? What is this studio? Hey there, Desert Bluffs. I don’t know if you can hear me. Kevin here. I don’t know where I am. It’s a radio studio, but the walls are darker. The equipment looks much older. Certainly much drier than it should be. The microphone was made… when? Have I gone back in time? Vanessa! Are you in the booth?

Listeners, if you can hear me, I am in a strange place. I do not know if I am in Desert Bluffs, or if anyone can hear me. The sandstorm rages outside. The vortex is still there, but it’s black, almost a deep blue. There’s a low hum. I do not know if this is the portal, or the storm, or my own body. There is a photo here on the desk. It is a man. He is wearing a tie. He is not tall or short, not thin or fat. He has eyes like mine and a nose like mine, and hair like mine, but I do not think he is me. Maybe it is the smile. Is that a smile? I can’t say. I do hope he is safe, whoever, wherever he is. I hope I am safe, wherever, whoever I am.

It is night. I think it is night. It is night. You may not know me, nor I you, but we have this mic, and this voice, and your warm ears blossoming open to hear comforting secrets in the vibrations of a voice that pulse so deep into your body, your heart relaxes for a time. And we have this, sitting right here on this odd and bloodless desk. So now, dear listeners, whoever you are, I give you… the weather.

[“Eliezer’s Waltz” by Larry Cardozo & Ron Fink, performed by Disparition.]