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…

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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.]

19A.11 – The Sandstorm

[Cecil’s voice returns.]

Hello? Night Vale? I told you I would be back. It took longer than I thought, but I have returned from whatever horrible place I have gone. Along the way, in the vortex, I saw a grotesque man. A foul devil of a man! And he attacked me! I tried to choke him to death, but I remembered. I remembered what I told you, and I let him live. I let that woeful beast live. I am sure he is not without his wounds and bruises, and I pity that he must return to that awful, awful place from whence he came and to where I most unfortunately visited.

But somehow, I am happy that he is alive. That I am alive. That you are alive. That we are alive. Outside, the winds are subsiding, the sun sweeping away our pains. I am sure there is blood staining the streets, the graffiti of our sins, the writings of an immoral but necessary battle, I presume. The bodies of some replaced by others who were – we were – all the same to begin with. And we are healing. Those of us, whoever we are, who survived. Those others of us, whoever we are, who conquered.

Whoever you are now, you are home. We are home, Night Vale. You and I are together again. My mouth, your ears: we have each other. And for now, and always, good night, Night Vale. Good night.