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!

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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.]