A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.
To start things off, I’ve been asked to read this brief notice:
The City Council announces the opening of a new Dog Park at the corner of Earl and Somerset, near the Ralphs. They would like to remind everyone that dogs are not allowed in the Dog Park. People are not allowed in the Dog Park.
It is possible you will see Hooded Figures in the Dog Park.
Do not approach them. Do not approach the Dog Park.
The fence is electrified and highly dangerous. Try not to look at the Dog Park, and especially do not look for any period of time at the Hooded Figures. The Dog Park will not harm you.
And now, the news.
Old Woman Josie, out near the Car Lot, says the Angels revealed themselves to her. Said they were ten feet tall, radiant, and one of them was black. Said they helped her with various household chores. One of them changed a light bulb for her – the porch light. She’s offering to sell the old light bulb, which has been touched by an Angel. It was the black Angel, if that sweetens the pot for anyone. If you’re interested, contact Old Woman Josie. She’s out near the Car Lot.
A new man came into town today. Who is he? What does he want from us? Why his perfect and beautiful haircut? Why his perfect and beautiful coat? He says he is a scientist. Well…we have all been scientists at one point or another in our lives. But why now? Why here? And just what does he plan to do with all those breakers and humming electrical instruments in that lab he’s renting – the one next to Big Rico's Pizza?
No one does a slice like Big Rico. No one.
Just a reminder to all the parents out there: let’s talk about safety when taking your children out to play in the scrublands and the sand wastes. You need to give them plenty of water, make sure there’s a shade tree in the area, and keep an eye on the helicopter colors.
Are the unmarked helicopters circling the area black? Probably World Government. Not a good area for play that day.
Are they blue? That’s the Sheriff's Secret Police. They’ll keep a good eye on your kids, and hardly ever take one.
Are they painted with complex murals depicting birds of prey diving? No one knows what those helicopters are, or what they want. Do not play in the area. Return to your home and lock the doors until a Sheriff’s Secret Policeman leaves a carnation on your porch to indicate that the danger has passed. Cover your ears to blot out the screams.
Also remember: Gatorade is basically soda, so give your kids plain old water and maybe some orange slices when they play.
A commercial airliner flying through local airspace disappeared today, only to reappear in the Night Vale Elementary gymnasium during basketball practice, disrupting practice quite badly. The jet roared through the small gym for only a fraction of a second. And before it could strike any players or structure, it vanished again. This time, apparently, for good.
Desert Bluffs is always trying to show us up through fancier uniforms, better pre-game snacks, and possibly by transporting a commercial jet into our gymnasium, delaying practice for several minutes at least.
For shame, Desert Bluffs. For shame.
That new scientist – we now know it’s named Carlos – called a town meeting. He has a square jaw, and teeth like a military cemetery. His hair is perfect, and we all hate, and despair, and love that perfect hair in equal measure.
Old Woman Josie brought corn muffins which were decent, but lacked salt. She said the Angels had taken her salt for a Godly mission, and she hadn’t yet gotten around to buying more.
Carlos told us that we are by far the most scientifically interesting community in the U.S., and he had come to study just what is going on around here. He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.
Government agents from a vague yet menacing agency were in the back, watching. I fear for Carlos. I fear for Night Vale. I fear for anyone caught between what they know and what they don’t yet know that they don’t know.
We received a press release this morning. The Night Vale Business Association is proud to announce the opening of the brand new Night Vale Harbor and Waterfront Recreation Area. I have been to these facilities myself recently on their invitation, and I can tell you that it is absolutely top of the line and beautiful.
Sturdy docking areas made from eco-friendly post-consumer material, a boardwalk for pedestrians, and plenty of stands ready for local food vendors and merchants to turn into a bustling public marketplace.
Now, there is some concern about the fact that, given we are in the middle of a desert, there is no actual water at the waterfront. And that is a definite drawback, I agree.
For instance, the boardwalk is currently overlooking sagebrush and rocks. The Business Association did not provide any specific remedies for this problem, but they assured me that the new harbor would be a big boost to Night Vale nonetheless.
Maybe wait until a flash flood and head down there for the full waterfront experience.
The local chapter of the NRA is selling bumper stickers as part of their fundraising week. They sent the station one to get some publicity. And we’re here to serve the community, so I’m happy to let you all know about it. The stickers are made from good, sturdy vinyl, and they read:
Guns don’t kill people.
It’s impossible to be killed by a gun.
We are all invincible to bullets and it’s a miracle.
Stand outside of your front door and shout “NRA!” to order one.
“It seems like it exists,” explained Carlos and his perfect hair. “Like it’s just right there when you look at it. And it’s between two other identical houses, so it would make more sense for it to be there than not.”
But, he says, they have done experiments and the house is definitely not there. At news time, the scientists are standing in a group on the sidewalk in front of the nonexistent house, daring each other to go knock on the door.
A great howling was heard from the Night Vale Post Office yesterday. Postal workers claim no knowledge, although passers-by describe the sound as being a little like a human soul being destroyed through black magic.
The Indian tracker – now, I don’t know if you’ve seen this guy around. He’s the one that appears to be of maybe Slavic origin, yet wears an Indian headdress out of some racist cartoon and claims to be able to read tracks on asphalt. He appeared on the scene, and swore that he would discover the truth.
No one responded because it’s really hard to take him seriously in that headdress of his.
Lights. Seen in the sky above the Arby's. Not the glowing sign of Arby's. Something higher, and beyond that. We know the difference. We’ve caught on to their game. We understand the “lights above Arby's” game.
Invaders from another world.
Ladies and gentlemen, the future is here, and it’s about 100 feet above the Arby’s.
Carlos and his scientists at the monitoring station near Route 800 say their seismic monitors have been indicating wild seismic shifts – meaning to say that the ground should be going up and down all over the place. I don’t know about you folks, but the ground has been as still as the crust of a tiny globe rocketing through an endless void could be.
Carlos says that they’ve double-checked the monitors and they are in perfect working order. To put it plainly, there appears to be catastrophic earthquakes happening right here in Night Vale that absolutely no one can feel.
Well, submit an insurance claim anyway. See what you can get, right?
Traffic time, listeners.
Now, police are issuing warnings about ghost cars out on the highways, those cars only visible in the distance reaching unimaginable speeds leaving destinations unknown for destinations more unknown. They would like to remind you that you should not set your speed by these apparitions, and doing so will not be considered “following the flow of traffic.”
However, they do say that it’s probably safe to match speed with the mysterious lights in the sky, as whatever entities or organizations responsible appear to be cautious and reasonable drivers.
And now, the weather.
["These and More Than These" by Joseph Fink]
Welcome back, listeners.
The sun didn’t set at the correct time today, Carlos and his team of scientists report. They’re quite certain about it. They checked multiple clocks and the sun definitely set ten minutes later than it was supposed to.
I asked them if they had any explanations but they did not offer anything concrete. Mostly they sat in a circle around a desk clock, staring at it, murmuring, and cooing.
Still, we must be grateful to have the sun at all. It’s easy to forget in this hot, hot, hot desert climate, but things would actually be slightly harder for us without the sun.
The next time the sun rises, whatever time that turns out to be, take a moment to feel grateful for all the warmth and light and even, yes, extreme heat that our desert community is gifted with.
The City Council would like to remind you about the tiered Heavens, and the hierarchy of Angels. The reminder is that you should not know anything about this.
The structure of Heaven and the organizational chart are privileged information, known only to the City Council members on a need-to-know basis. Please do not speak to or acknowledge any Angels that you may come across while shopping at the Ralphs or at the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex. They only tell lies and do not exist.
Report all Angel sightings to the City Council for treatment.
And now a brief public service announcement.
Alligators: can they kill your children?
Along those lines, to get personal for a moment, I think the best way to die would be swallowed by a giant snake. Going feet-first and whole into a slimy maw would give your life perfect symmetry.
Speaking of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, its owner, Teddy Williams, reports that he has found the entrance to a vast underground city in the pin retrieval area of Lane 5. He said he has not yet ventured into it; merely peered down at its strange spires and broad avenues.
He also reports voices of a distant crowd in the depths of that subterranean metropolis. Apparently the entrance was discovered when a bowling ball accidentally rolled into it, clattering down to the city below with sounds that echoed for miles across the impossibly huge cavern.
So, you know, whatever population that city has, they know about us now, and we might be hearing from them very soon.
Carlos, perfect and beautiful, came into our studios during the break earlier but declined to stay for an interview. He had some sort of blinking box in his hand covered with wires and tubes. Said he was testing the place for “materials.”
I don’t know what materials he meant but that box sure whistled and beeped a lot. When he put it close to the microphone it sounded like, well, like a bunch of baby birds had just woken up. Really went crazy.
Carlos looked nervous. I’ve never seen that kind of look on someone with that strong of a jaw. He left in a hurry. Told us to evacuate the building. But then, who would be here to talk sweetly to all of you out there?
Settling in to be another clear night and pretty evening here in Night Vale. I hope all of you out there have someone to sleep through it with. Or, at least, good memories of when you did.
Goodnight, listeners. Goodnight.
Today’s proverb: Look to the north. Keep looking. There’s nothing coming from the south.
Glow Cloud (episode)