Speaking of which, the Night Vale school district has announced some changes to the elementary school curriculum. They are as follows.
In response to parent feedback, history class will focus more heavily on textbook readings and traditional exams, rather than live ammo drills. Geology is adding a new type of rock, on the grounds that it’s been a while since anyone has done that. The new type of rock is “vimbi,” and it is categorized by its pale blue color and the fact that it is completely edible. Points will be awarded to the first student to discover a real-world example of it.
Math and English are switching names. Their curriculum will stay exactly the same. Astronomy will now be conducting stargazing sessions only with blindfolds on every participant, in order to protect them from the existential terror of the void. Also, Pluto has been declared imaginary.
All classrooms will be equipped with at least one teacher physically present for the entire instruction period. Astral projection will no longer be used in any classroom situation. Finally, in addition to the current foreign language offerings of Spanish, French, and Modified Sumerian, schools will now be offering Double Spanish, Weird Spanish, Coptic Spanish, Russian, and Unmodified Sumerian.
This Friday, at Night Vale High’s Memorial Stadium, it’s the annual softball showdown between the Night Vale Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Secret Police. Proceeds from the game will go to support development of nuclear weaponry for a strongly religious Indonesian militia that is looking to overthrow their heretical government, as well as to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So even if you don’t like softball, come on out and support a couple of great causes.
Last year’s game ended in a rout, as the Secret Police hit three home runs in the eighth and ninth innings. The firefighters claimed that there was some foul play involved— pun intended, dear listeners— as their entire bullpen was assassinated in the middle innings with blow darts. Those murders remain unsolved and completely uninvestigated. Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased relief pitchers. Rest in peace.
It should be a fun one! Expect a real revenge-minded fire department to take the field on Friday. Tickets are only $10, or $5 if you bring enriched yellowcake uranium. Black helicopters will be mind-scanning the town on game day, hunting down those who do not attend. The first 500 fans receive surgically applied working gills.
Speaking of which, Night Vale High School is adding metal detectors, and parents and students alike are outraged. Several parents we talked to said that NVHS students have long been recipients of shadow government-issued Uzis and rifles, as well as tasers and armor-piercing munitions. The school board’s decision to put up metal detectors, according to parents, impinges on the clandestine operation’s rights as a vast underground conspiracy of giant megacorporations and corrupt world leaders to bear arms via teenage paramilitary proxies.
The school board countered that studies indicate that weapons distract from educators’ ability to educate, and that students who bring firearms to classrooms are more likely to use firearms than students without firearms. The school board says that school shootings can only get in the way of a quality education.
Well, at the risk of becoming too much a part of this story, dear listeners, might I say that the Night Vale school district is overstepping its bounds by telling us whether or not our children can be armed by undercover militants? Should it be a school’s job to say, ‘No, child, you cannot have grenades or assault rifles in the classroom’? I think not.
Beginning November 1st, all students at NVHS will enter through metal detectors. Any firearms or weaponry found will be confiscated and held in the counselor’s office until after school, when the students can pick them up again. Seriously, listeners, what’s next? Removing the line, “Praise the beams, praise o ye knowing beams that guide our lives, our hearts, our souls, praise o highest to ye, all-powerful beams” from the Pledge of Allegiance?
An update on the pyramid reported on earlier. Word is in that the pyramid has spoken. It is broadcasting, on low-wave frequencies, a repeated message. The message is the following.
I will place within some of you questions. Within others I will place answers. These questions and these answers will not always align. The questions I provide may have no answers, and the answers I provide may have no questions. I will study the effects of these questions and these answers. Some of you will hurt others, and others will heal. Grow my seeds inside you, and let them flower.
The Flaky-Os marketing department must be complimented for the best use of viral marketing in Night Vale since Stan’s Pawn Shop released a virulent strain of ebola back in ’98. And, as a communicator by trade, I applaud their ingenuity.
The Sheriff’s Secret Police has responded with surface-to-surface missiles, which, they say, will “silence the dark heart of the beast.” So far, they have not so much as created a smudge on the pyramid’s broad, shiny surface.
A fallow wheat field, grey sky, cut by black Vs of black birds. There is a child, dragging a hatchet. His eyes cast down. His eyes tight. His eyes white and red and superfluous. He knows not what he sees, but he knows what is there. A single black winged beast, beak cracked, feathers rotting, alights roughly on the child’s shoulder. They stop. the bird picks at the cartilage of the boy’s ear as if biting secrets into it. The boy groans, not unpleasantly. Heavy slow clouds roll and rise, starkly contrasted against the flickering daguerreotype hills, which stoically keep the poisonous rains at bay.
A sudden little river, partially walled by palsied shafts of grain, rolls by. The boy walks into it. He bends forward. His blank eyes stare into his reflection. Neither he nor his mirror knows the other is there, but the bird, the bird knows. The bird cackles, or perhaps cries. Even the bird is uncertain. The boy takes a palm full of the dark water. Most of it runs out through his long, zigzagging fingers. He licks the remainder from his dusty skin.
A sound: like thunder, like drums, like steps. The boy turns and hurls his hatchet behind him. The bird flies up and away. There is a hideous thump. The boy knows not what he has hit, but that it has been wounded. He waits for its retort.