Welcome To Night Vale – The Shape In Grove Park
Close your eyes. Let my words wash over you. You are safe now. Welcome to Night Vale.
[Theme Music: Disparition]
Local historians are protesting the removal of the Shape in Grove Park that no one acknowledges or speaks about. While their protest has been hampered by the fact that none of them will acknowledge or speak about it, they did, through a system of gestures and grimaces, convey the message that, whatever the Shape is, and whatever its effects on neighborhoods, it is a Night Vale landmark and should be protected. The Shape itself offered no comment, only a low moaning gelatinous quiver. The city council would not provide any reason for the removal, but did say that any work in Grove Park was making way for a new swing set, picnic area, and bloodstone circle, which we all can agree are good contributions to the community.
The Night Vale Green Market Co-Op announced today that, after fifteen years, they will begin selling fruits and vegetables. Green Market board president Tristan Cortez said that recent customer surveys indicated that shoppers have grown tired of empty pickup trucks and vacant tents lining the City Hall parking lot every Sunday morning in the summer and fall. Cortez said that research indicates that consumers are more likely to buy products if they are available and for sale, and that Green Market & Grocery shoppers tend to purchase food items. Cortez said that the decision to sell food at the Green Market was a controversial one, as many board members and Co-Op shareholders feel fruit and vegetable sales will interfere with their ongoing secretive domestic espionage operations. When reached for comment, our source within the Secret Police only breathed heavily into the phone while tapping and as-yet uncracked code into the receiver.
Michael Sandero, starting quarterback for the Night Vale Scorpions, has reportedly grown a second head. It is not currently known whether this is a result of the previously reported lightning strike, or just another odd coincidence in the kid’s odd life. People in the know say that the new head is better looking and smarter than the first one, and even Michael’s mother has issued a statement indicating that she likes it much better than her son and that she will be changing the rankings on the public Which of My Children I Like Best board outside her house. Sandero could not be reached for comment, probably. We didn’t try.
Friends, listeners—there’s a real tarantula problem here in Night Vale. Many residents have called in to report that illiteracy, unwanted pregnancy, and violent crime are on the rise in the tarantula communities. Animal control is addressing these concerns through after school programs called, "Teach a Spider to Read. Stop the Madness." Those interesting in volunteering should stand in their bathtubs and weep until it is all gone. Nothing left. You can let go now. Let go. Shhhh. Let go.
And now a message from our sponsor.
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Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Ladies and gentlemen, the rumor mill is abuzz. We’ve had a celebrity sighting in our little burgh! Old Woman Josie and one of her angel friends reportedly saw Rita Hayworth getting gas at the Fuel ‘N Go over by the bowling alley. Rita Hayworth, ladies and gentlemen! Right here in Night Vale. Can you believe it? Old Woman Josie said Rita was looking a bit older, moderately obese, and considerably more Hispanic, but the angel assured her it was indeed Rita. He is an angel after all—he would know, right? Wow! Rita Hayworth. Right here in Night Vale. Just imagine.
Update on the Shape Formerly in Grove Park that no one acknowledges or speaks about. It seems the city council, in their superhuman mercy and all-seeing glory, have chosen to move the Shape directly in front of our own radio station, where it is continuing to be what can only be described as…indescribable. The Shape was not available for comment, as I could find no one willing to speak to it, or even meet my eye when I mentioned it. It has occurred to me that I may be the only one able to see it. Now that I think about it, I have also never bothered to actually check whether this mike is attached to any sort of recording or broadcasting device. And, it is possible that I am alone in an empty universe, speaking to no one, unaware that the world is held aloft merely by my delusions and my smooth, sonorous voice. More on this story as it develops, I say, possibly only to myself.
The Night Vale Community Theatre is holding auditions for its fall show Once On This Island. Interested thespians should bring a headshot and résumé to the Recreation Center auditorium on Thursday night. All auditionees must perform a one-minute monologue and sing one song. Bring sheet music if you would like piano accompaniment. Auditionees will also be required to do a cold reading, and give blood and stool samples along with mandatory radiation testing following the auditions. Do not sing anything from South Pacific. People of color are urged to audition, as Night Vale Community Theatre is an equal-opportunity employer. Also, actors with long-range sniper training, Fortran computer programming, and top-notch wilderness survival skills are a plus. Final casting will be announced in secret via dirigible. No one can ever know.
Update on the Green Market situation from earlier in our broadcast. Everything is exactly the same as when we last reported on it. There is no new information.
Listeners, do you ever think about the moon? I was sitting outside last night looking at the moon and I thought, does anyone actually know what that thing is? Have there been any studies on this? I went to ask Carlos, but he hasn’t been seen much since that treacherous Telly’s vile haircut. The moon’s weird though, right? It’s there, and there, and then suddenly it’s not. And it seems to be pretty far up. It is watching us? If not, what is it watching instead? Is there something more interesting than us? Hey, watch us moon! We may not always be the best show in the universe, but we try. This has been today’s Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner.
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 type of rocks is Vimbee, 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 star gazing 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.
And now, a continuation of our previous investigation into whether I am literally the only person in the world, speaking to myself in a fit of madness cause by my inability to admit the tragedy of my own existence. Leland, our newest intern, recently brought me a cup of coffee. He is no longer in my field of vision, but I do still have the cup of coffee, which is well made and is given me the needed pick-me-up to continue considering this terrifying possibility. Is it possible that I only imagined Leland, and forgot making myself this cup of coffee? But then, who would have grown this coffee? Where was this coffee cup procured from? Oh, Leland’s back in the room. He’s waving at me—hello, Leland—and he’s saying…wait, what was that, Leland?
I see. He’s saying that the Shape has turned a molten red and is causing small whirlwinds in front of our radio station doors. There is apparently a sound of a great many voices chanting as though it were an army giving out a battle cry before raining down destruction on our arid little hamlet. Oh? He has stopped shouting, and is now writing furiously on a piece of paper. I have to say, Leland’s existence, as well as his finally speaking about the Shape that no one else would speak about, has reassured me greatly about my lonely and solipsistic vigil here at this microphone. He is handing me the note—thank you, Leland—lemme see here. Ahhh. It says that the city council believes the reason for the violent reaction of the Shape Formerly in Grove Park that no one acknowledges or speaks about is because I have been acknowledging and speaking about it, which has made it angry. They urge me to stop speaking of it, and never do it again, and in exchange they’ll move it somewhere else so we can get our front-loading zone back. After brief consideration, I have decided to accept the council’s offer, because they are trustworthy leaders looking out for our better future, and also because Leland just got vaporized by a strange red light emanating from the station entrance. To the family of Leland, we thank you for his service to the cause of community radio, and join you in mourning his loss.
And, without further ado, nor ever again mentioning anything we shouldn’t, let’s go to the weather.
[The Weather: "Jerusalem," Dan Bern]
Hello listeners. In breaking news, the sky. The earth. Life. Existence as an unchanging plain with horizons of birth and death in the faint distance. We have nothing to speak about. There never was. Words are an unnecessary trouble. Expression is time wasting away. Any communication is just a yelp in the darkness. Ladies, gentlemen, listeners, you. I am speaking now but I am saying nothing. I am just making noises, and, as it happens, they are organized in words, and you should not draw meaning from this. The service for Leland will be lovely. We will throw flowers and weep. He will be buried in the break room as is the custom. His family will come and moon about the coffee as though we have answers. We do not have answers. I am not certain that we even have questions. I have chosen to not be certain of anything at all. This is Cecil, generally, speaking to you, metaphorically, for Night Vale Community Radio, and I would like to say in the most nebulous terms possible, and with no real-world implications or insinuations of objective meaning, goodnight, listeners. Goodnight.
A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A basilisk.
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