Welcome to Night Vale Wiki
Glow Cloud (episode)

The desert seems vast, even endless, and yet scientists tell us that somewhere, even now, there is snow. Welcome to Night Vale.

The Night Vale Tourism Board's “Visit-able Night Vale” campaign has kicked off with posters encouraging folks to take their family on a scenery-filled jaunt through the trails of Radon Canyon.

Their slogan? “The view is literally breathtaking.”

Posters will be placed at police stations and frozen yogurt shops in nearby towns, along with promotional giveaways of plastic sheeting and re-breathers.

And now, the news.

Have any of our listeners seen the glowing cloud that has been moving in from the west? Well, John Peters – you know, the farmer? – he saw it over the western ridge this morning. Said he would have thought it was the setting sun if it wasn't for the time of day.

Apparently the cloud glows in a variety of colors, perhaps changing from observer to observer, although all report a low whistling when it draws near.

One death has already been attributed to the Glow Cloud. But listen, it's probably nothing. If we had to shut down the town for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we'd never have time to do anything, right?

That's what the Sheriff's Secret Police are saying, and I agree. Although, I would not go so far as to endorse their suggestion to run directly at the cloud, shrieking and waving your arms, just to see what it does.

The Apache Tracker – and I remind you that this is that white guy who wears the huge and cartoonishly inaccurate Indian headdress – has announced that he has found some disturbing evidence concerning the recent incident at the Night Vale Post Office, which has been sealed by the City Council since the great screaming that was heard from it a few weeks ago.

He said that using ancient Indian magics, he slipped through council security into the post office, and observed that all the letters and packages had been thrown about as in a whirlwind. That there was the heavy stench of scorched flesh. That the words written in blood on the wall said, “More to come, and soon.”

Can you believe this guy said he used Indian magics? What an asshole!

Here's something odd. There is a cat hovering in the men's bathroom at the radio station here. He seems perfectly happy and healthy, but it's floating about four feet off the ground next to the sink. Doesn't seem to be able to move from its current hover-spot. If you pet him, he purrs, and he'll rub on your body like a normal cat if you get close enough. Fortunately, because he's right by the sink, it was pretty easy to leave some water and food where he could get it, and it's nice to have a station pet.

Wish it wasn't trapped in a hovering prison in the men's bathroom, but listen: no pet is perfect. It becomes perfect when you learn to accept it for what it is.

And now, a message from our sponsors:

I took a walk on the cool sand dunes, brittle grass overgrown, and above me in the night sky, above me I saw.

Bitter taste of unripe peaches and a smell I could not place nor could I escape. I remembered other times that I could not escape. I remembered other smells.

The moon slunk like a wounded animal. The world spun like it had lost control. Concentrate only on breathing, and let go of ideas you had about nutrition and alarm clocks.

I took a walk on the cool sand dunes, brittle grass overgrown, and above me in the night sky, above me I saw.

This message was brought to you by Coca Cola.

The City Council, in cooperation with government agents from a vague yet menacing agency, is asking all citizens to stop by the Night Vale Elementary School gymnasium tonight at 7:00 for a brief questionnaire about mysterious sights that definitely no one saw and strange thoughts that in no way occurred to anyone. Because all of us are normal, and to be otherwise would make us outcasts from our own community.

Remember: if you see something, say nothing and drink to forget.

The Boy Scouts of Night Vale have announced some slight changes to their hierarchy, which will now be the following: Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, Blood Pact Scout, Weird Scout, Dreadnought Scout, Dark Scout, Fear Scout, and finally, Eternal Scout.

As always, sign-up is automatic and random, so please keep an eye out for the scarlet envelope that will let you know your son has been chosen for the process.

This is probably nothing listeners, but John Peters – you know, the farmer – he reports that the Glow Cloud is directly over Old Town Night Vale, and appears to be raining small creatures upon the earth. Armadillos, lizards, a few crows – that kind of thing.

Fortunately, the animals appear to be dead already, so the Night Vale Animal Control Department has said that it should be a snap to clean those up. They just have to be tossed on the Eternal Animal Pyre in Mission Grove Park, so, if that's the worst the Glow Cloud has for us, I say go ahead and do your daily errands. Just bring along a good strong umbrella capable of handling falling animals up to, say, ten pounds.

More on the Glow Cloud as it continues to crawl across our sky.

And hey, here's a tip: take your kids out and use the Cloud's constantly mutating hue to teach him or her the names of colors. It's fun, and it shows them the real-life applications of learning.

Alert: the Sheriff's Secret Police are searching for a fugitive named Hiram McDaniels, who escaped custody last night following a 9 PM arrest. McDaniels is described as a five-headed dragon, approximately 18 feet tall, with mostly green eyes and weighing about 3600 pounds. He is suspected of insurance fraud.

McDaniels was pulled over for speeding last night, and the Secret Police became suspicious when he allegedly gave the officers a fake driver's license for a five foot eight man named Frank Chen. After discerning that Frank Chen was actually a five-headed dragon from somewhere other than our little world, the Secret Police searched McDaniels' vehicle.

Representatives from local civil rights organizations have protested that officers had no legal grounds to search the vehicle, but they ceded the point when reminded by Secret Police officials that our backwards court system will uphold any old authoritarian rule made up on the fly by unsupervised gun-carrying thugs of a shadow government.

The Secret Police say McDaniels escaped custody by breathing fire from his purple head, and he was last seen flying and shrieking over Red Mesa.

Secret Police are asking for tips leading to the arrest of Hiram McDaniels. They remind you that, if seen, he should not be approached, as he is literally a five headed dragon. Contact the Sheriff's Secret Police if you have any information. Ask for Officer Ben.

Helpful tipsters will earn one stamp on their Alert Citizen card. Collect five stamps, and you get stop sign immunity for one year.

And now, a look at the community calendar.

Saturday, the public library will be unknowable. Citizens will forget the existence of the library from 6 AM Saturday morning until 11 PM that night. The library will be under a sort of renovation. It is not important what kind of renovation.

Sunday is Dot Day! Remember, red dots on what you love, blue dots on what you don't. Mixing those up can cause permanent consequences.

Monday, Louie Blasko is offering bluegrass lessons in the back of Louie's Music Shop. Of course, the shop burned down years ago, and Louie skipped town immediately after with his insurance money, but he's sent word that you should bring your instrument to the crumbled ashy shell of where his shop once was, and pretend that he is there in the darkness teaching you. The price is $50 per lesson, payable in advance.

Tuesday afternoon, join the Night Vale PTA for a bake sale to support Citizens for a Blood Space War. Proceeds will go to support neutron bomb development and deployment to our outer solar system allies.

Wednesday has been canceled due to a scheduling error.

And on Thursday is a free concert. And… that's all it says here.

New call in from John Peters – you know, the farmer? Seems the Glow Cloud has doubled in size, enveloping all of Night Vale in its weird light and humming song.

Little League administration has announced that they will be going ahead with the game, although there will be an awning built over the field due to the increase in size of the animal corpses being dropped. I've had multiple reports that a lion, like the kind you would see on the sun-baked plains of Africa, or a pee-stained enclosure at a local zoo, fell on top of the White Sand Ice Cream Shoppe. The Shop is offering a free dipped cone to anyone who can figure out how to get the thing off.

The Sheriff's Secret Police have apparently taken to shouting questions at the Glow Cloud, trying to ascertain what exactly it wants. So far, the Glow Cloud has not answered.

The Glow Cloud does not need to converse with us. It does not feel as we tiny humans feel. It has no need for thoughts or feelings of love.

The Glow Cloud simply is.

All hail the mighty Glow Cloud

All hail

And now, slaves of the Cloud, the weather.

[The Bus is Late by Satellite High]

Sorry, listeners. Not sure what happened in that earlier section of the broadcast – as in, I actually don't remember what happened. Tried to play back the tapes, but they're all blank, and smell faintly of vanilla.

The Glow Cloud, meanwhile, has moved on. It is now just a glowing spot in the distance, humming east to destinations unknown. We may never fully understand, or understand at all, what it was and why it dumped a lot of dead animals on our community.

But, and I'm going to get a little personal here, that's the essence of life, isn't it?

Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community. While they're happening they feel like the only thing that matters, and you can hardly imagine that there's a world out there that might have anything else going on. And then the Glow Cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you. And you may find that, as time passes, you remember it less and less. Or absolutely not at all, in my case.

And you are left with nothing but a powerful wonder at the fleeting nature of even the most important things in life – and the faint, but pretty, smell of vanilla.

Dear listeners, here is a list of things.

  • Emotions you don't understand upon viewing a sunset
  • Lost pets, found
  • Lost pets, unfound
  • A secret lost pet city on the moon
  • Trees that see
  • Restaurants that hear
  • A void that thinks
  • A face half-seen just before falling asleep
  • Trembling hands reaching for desperately needed items
  • Sandwiches
  • Silence when there should be noise
  • Noise when there should be silence
  • Nothing when you want something
  • Something when you thought there was nothing
  • Clear plastic binder sheets
  • Scented dryer sheets
  • Rain coming down in sheets
  • Night
  • Rest
  • Sleep
  • End

Goodnight, listeners. Goodnight.

Today's proverb: Men are from Mars; women are from Venus; Earth is a hallucination; podcasts are dreams.

Transcripts Next:
Station Management (episode)