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.
First, the news. Old Town Night Vale residents are complaining about extremely noisy sunsets. Several agitated citizens are pushing for the City Council to do something about the solar shrieking every evening for the past few weeks. One homeowner described the sound as ‘the parched cries of sad buzzards or perhaps even the unholy voice of Old Scratch himself’.
The City Council, speaking in unison at a televised press conference, said that the noise is just the windmill farms that litter the unfortunate wastelands of Desert Bluffs, and that the noises do not fall under Night Vale jurisdiction. Walton Kincaid, president of the community group Soundproof Old Town, said that the windmills can’t possibly be the source of the noise, as they are non-existent and also don’t work, because of Desert Bluffs’ staggering incompetence. The City Council called a second press conference, wherein they all wordlessly stared down Kincaid for fourteen uninterrupted minutes. Their dark eyes tore holes straight through the community spokesman, metaphorically speaking, until his soul was compacted into what looked like a partially chewed black-eyed pea. Literally.
To date, only Old Town residents have reported hearing these inconceivable noises every evening as the sun crosses the indifferent horizon. And the noises seem to be taking their toll. There have been two heart attacks, twelve cases of significant muscular atrophy, and at least two dozen claims of folks growing third eyes, including Kincaid himself, who had an arachnid-like eight eyes when he spoke before City Council yesterday morning. No other neighborhood can hear the sounds.
I spoke to Simone Rigadeau in the Earth Sciences building at Night Vale Community College about the scientifically fascinating story, and she called it a simple case of celestial ‘just desserts’. Full disclosure, listeners: Rigadeau does not work in Earth Sciences. She is a transient living in the recycling closet of the Earth Sciences building, and she collects cans as pets. There is another hearing scheduled at 4 a.m. tomorrow, on the highest ledge overlooking Skeleton Gorge, which can only be accessed by government helicopters. All previous endeavors to scale the cliffside by rock-climbing enthusiasts have failed in extravagantly gory fashion. The Council issued a statement wishing Kincaid luck in attending this mandatory meeting.
In light of the ever-declining sales of newspapers, and the rise of competition from digital media, the Night Vale Daily Journal announced that it has developed a new business model. Publishing editor Leanne Hart, speaking to television and internet reporters outside the burned-down shell of the Journal’s former distribution plant, said their new mission, as a newspaper, is to kill newsbloggers with hatchets.
In this bold new initiative, a game-changing strategy by one of the industry stalwarts, the Daily Journal plans to just go to bloggers’ homes and places of employment with hatchets and then chop them up – the bloggers – until they – the bloggers – are dead. She added that the Journal still plans to use the AP Style Guide and they are working to design a newer, more modern-looking masthead. Several Journal reporters and ad reps then began swinging blades at the non-print reporters in attendance.
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.
Listeners, the City Council announced moments ago that a sandstorm will be arriving Night Vale in just a few minutes. They apologize that they did not announce this sooner, but they just kind of let their morning slip away from them. ‘You know how it is,’ they said in unison. ‘You think “Oh, we should announce this dangerous sandstorm, that’s priority one.” But then you have to get some coffee, and you run into your coworker friends, and then you check your email, and maybe a glance at Facebook, and you just lose track of time. You know,’ they concluded.
The sandstorm is projected to be the largest in decades, and meteorologists warned that high winds and debris from the desert could cause millions in damage. They also said that if you’re not already inside with windows closed, doors locked, and eyes shut tight, then your future will probably be very different. Meteorologists then warned that raccoons are actually pretty dangerous animals despite how adorable they seem, and never, EVER feed baby raccoons, because the mother raccoon will definitely attack you. ‘Have you ever had rabies shots?’ the meteorologists asked. ‘Oh, it is the WORST,’ they continued as the press corps got restless and hoped that the meteorologists would just shut up soon. ‘God, meteorologists just don’t know when to stop,’ the entire press corps moaned.
So, take cover, Night Vale. Hide in your homes and offices, and pretend that mere walls are enough to protect you from nature’s might and life’s brevity and meaninglessness. Keep your radios tuned in here – we’ll keep you up to date.
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.