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This is a transcription of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, and which I am not affiliated with or responsible for in any way, shape, or form. The transcript is intended to assist people in following the podcast. I think everyone should be able to enjoy this excellent horror/comedy program, even if they are disabled in a way that makes listening to radio shows difficult.

CECIL:   The policeman in that intersection is not directing traffic. He's coding an urgent message to all of us. Welcome...to Night Vale

                              :: instrumental theme::

First, the news! Old Town Night Vale residents are complaining about extremely noisy sunsets. Several agitated citizens are pushing for the City Council to do something about the solar shrieking every evening for the past few weeks. One homeowner described the sound as "the parched cries of sad buzzards, or, perhaps, even the unholy voice of Old Scratch himself". The City Council, speaking in unison at a televised press conference, said that the noise is just the windmill farms that litter the unfortunate wastelands of Desert Bluffs, and that the noises do not fall under Night Vale jurisdiction. Walton Kincaid, president of the community group "Soundproof Old Town!" said that the windmills can't possibly be the source of the noise, as they are nonexistent, and also don't work because of Desert Bluffs' staggering incompetence.

The City Council then called a second press conference, wherein they all wordlessly stared down Kincaid for fourteen uninterrupted minutes. Their dark eyes tore holes straight through the community spokesman-- metaphorically speaking-- until his soul was compacted into what looked like a partially chewed black-eyed pea. Literally.

To date, only Old Town residents have reported hearing these inconceivable noises every evening as the sun crosses the indifferent horizon. And the noises seem to be taking their toll: there have been two heart attacks, twelve cases of significant muscular atrophy, and at least two dozen claims of folks growing third eyes-- including Kincaid himself, who had an arachnid-like eight eyes when he spoke before City Council yesterday morning. No other neighborhood can hear the sounds.

I spoke to Simone Rigedeaux in the Earth Sciences building at Night Vale Community College about this scientifically fascinating story, and she called it a simple case of "celestial just desserts". Full disclosure, listeners: Rigedeaux does not work in Earth Sciences. She is a transient living in the recycling closet of the Earth Sciences building, and she collects cans as pets.

...There is another hearing, scheduled at 4 AM tomorrow on the highest ledge overlooking Skeleton Gorge, which can only be accessed by government helicopters. All previous endeavors to scale the cliffside by rock climbing enthusiasts have failed...in extravagantly gory fashion. The Council issued a statement wishing Kincaid luck in attending this mandatory meeting.


Breaking news! We've received confirmation from the sheriff's secret police that fugitive Hiram McDaniels was finally apprehended! McDaniels has been on the lam since August. He was wanted on several counts of insurance fraud, falsifying identification papers, evading arrest, and assaulting a police vehicle with fire. McDaniels was spotted near his Earl Road apartment early Saturday morning by several alert neighbors. The neighbors said they were able to identify McDaniels because he matched police sketches of an eighteen-foot-tall, five-headed dragon that had been posted across Night Vale. Fingerprints later confirmed that McDaniels was definitely a dragon.

Secret police are still unsure of McDaniels' motives for returning home. And, well, listeners...our station intern Stacey just handed me a photo of Hiram McDaniels. He is a very dynamic-looking dragon. The raw power...the intensity in those five faces...those many sets of piercing blue and red and black and green and yellow eyes! I can certainly see how he charmed his way out of an arrest. He must never get tickets! What a guy!


An unsigned press release I found under my pillow this morning announces the following:

"There is a free party this Friday at the abandoned missile silo outside of town. The purpose of this party is to celebrate. There will be no sign, or music, but the party is inside the silo. This party takes place at 3 AM and will be over at 3: 05. It will be dark, both inside and outside the silo. Grope blindly towards happiness. Keep your mouth open and your teeth together to indicate you are at a party. You will hear noises and, later, you will not. This party will feature special guest Bon Jovi, although he does not yet know it. See you there!"


An interesting note on Hiram McDaniels: Intern Stacy tells me that she's been Googling the roguish dragon; did you know that he has a blog?! He's a very smart fellow. Some really groundbreaking ideas! Here's one post from last week: "If I were mayor of Night Vale, I would give incentives for small business development and focus on youth physical fitness programs. Human youth are the human future, after all."

...Well. It seems a certain multi-headed fugitive wants to become mayor of Night Vale! You have my vote, Hiram!


Thursday night, the City Council is voting on a new measure that would prohibit breathing as an involuntary muscular action. Historically, the human body has been able to control breathing without the brain needing to consciously activate the diaphragm. Under the new rule, all residents of Night Vale would be required to make the physical choice of whether or not, and when, to breathe. The City Council said that we have too long taken the receipt of oxygen for granted, and that this sense of entitlement must cease. If the vote passes, residents will have until March 1 of next year to learn to control these involuntary muscle groups during lucid sleep. Detractors say that it is our constitutional right to breathe how we want, and that it is not the government's job to legislate breathing. The Council responded by waving a brick in the air at reporters and shouting, "We learned to beat our own hearts! We taught ourselves to wet our own corneas!! We have pulled ourselves up from NOTHING!! It is the American Dream!" Then, they took a deep breath, all together, lowered the brick, broke it into pieces...and devoured it.


And now, a word from our sponsor:

We all want to live forever, right?


Think about watching your family die as you selfishly carry on...your children aging and passing...your grandchildren...and so on. Think of all the friends you'll make, but eventually lose. You don't want that! No! You know the Earth is eventually going to be swallowed by the sun, right? And one day, you would be present for this greatest of all apocalypses. As fascinating as this would be, scientifically speaking, this excitement would fade as the pain of thousand-degree flames engulfed your tender body...and your aged mind would be so alone in this interminable torture! Does this sound like something you want?!

We didn't think so!

Immortality is stupid. Think before you wish.

This message brought to you by DirectTV.


Dear listeners, right after we reported on Hiram McDaniels' interest in becoming Night Vale mayor, the dirty campaign tactics came into play, stirring up bad feelings and slinging the old municipal mud. Incumbent mayor, Pamela Winchell, issued a statement citing township bylaws that prohibit prisoners from running for public office. Now, isn't it just like a career politician, such as Mayor Winchell, to make such unethical, ad-hominem attacks on a great reptilian beast...simply because he's in jail! It sounds to me like the mayor is feeling McDaniels breathing down her neck-- breathing dragonfire, that is! Give 'em hell, Hiram!

...The following is a test of the Emergency Dream Broadcast System. In the event of an actual emergency, you would just now be experiencing a dream in which you were in the neighborhood where you grew up-- only all the houses are now black, featureless cylinders. Just row after row of these blank, dark cylinders, stretching out around you. You are home, but you are also somewhere far, from whence you will never find home again. There is someone waiting for you at the end of the longest street. You know that, though you do not know who. You try to run down the street, and it grows longer...and longer. You pass by one cylinder in particular, and know that it's your house. You stop running. You approach the blank face of the cylinder, its surface seeming to devour light and sound. You reach out, and you are inches from touching it. Just then, you hear a ding! You look up to see words in the sky: "POSSIBLE FLASH FLOODS," they say. "ALERT VALID UNTIL 3 PM".

...Once again, this has been a test of the Emergency Dream Broadcast System.

The Night Vale Mall is having to deal with angry calls from parents after the Santa they hired for Christmas photos was, once again, a no-show. Mall public relations officials said that the missing Santa is actually a performance art piece, meant to show people how our capitalist idols are truly non-existent-- ghosts of materialistic ideas that we have embraced as replacements for true spiritual meaning. A long line of crying children and angry parents stretched from Santa's empty chair to just past the Hollister. The mall PR officials added that they have a "really cool idea for Valentine's Day". They're thinking "like, moving pictures? of actual beating hearts? projected onto a large teddy bear?...which has been stretched open, like a vivisected frog from seventh grade Life Science?" Officials added, "it's going to be monstrous and beautiful!! You don't even know what art really is!! You don't even know yourself." They concluded by chanting and pumping their arms in unison, like a Lower Paleolithic version of the YMCA dance.

And now, the weather!


      ("The Brightness," by Anais Mitchell)


During the break, I received a message from Mayor Winchell's office, responding to our previous reports. According to the mayor, mayoral elections aren't for another three years, and Hiram McDaniels is ineligible to run not only because of his jail stay, but also because he is neither a Night Vale resident nor a human being. There is, she says, no precedent for a five-headed dragon as an elected official. Mayor Winchell also pointed out that writing the throw-away phrase, "if I were mayor of Night Vale" on a blog is not an official declaration of candidacy. "THERE IS PAPERWORK," Mayor Winchell shouted into my voicemail. "YOU CAN'T JUST...UUUUURRRGHRUUUUURLGH!!" she continued, trailing off slightly at the end. What followed was about ninety-five seconds of loud stomping, and what sounded like wood-chopping in the distance, before the message finally ended. Allow me a retort, dear listeners, with this brief editorial:

With all due respect, Madame Mayor, have we not had enough dragon-bashing? Our great country once held to some terrible old customs, but we grew up. We learned. We abolished slavery! Women won the right to vote! Ghosts can now marry! (...But, of course, not have children; I mean, that would be a real slippery slope.) And our own little burg is on the verge of becoming the first city in this great nation to legalize time travel! So let's loosen our collars. Let's march into the reptilian future, not cling to the narrow past! Just because a dragon is a dragon, and has five heads, doesn't mean he can't lead our community. Sure, critics will say, "Oh, but Cecil, what if his five heads don't agree on something? What if one's like, 'Yeah, let's build this school!' but another's like, 'No more schools!' and the others are drunk or sleepy or something?? How can we agree to elect five heads that can't agree with themselves?"

To this, I say, "Shame on you for your negative stereotypes of multi-headed beings! Free your mind! The rest, as our official town song says, will follow."

...The song also says, "lap deeply of the scarlet mud after the blood-rains of the apocalypse", but I don't think that quite applies here. So, with this, I am proud to offer my endorsement of Hiram McDaniels for mayor of Night Vale! Sure, the election isn't for three years, but it's never too early to effect change! And in that time, we will rally. We will petition to get what we want! And soon, a great leader will rise. Lead us to that future, Hiram!

Ah, but that is later.

Now? It is dark. It is quiet. Just you and me, dear listener. Just my voice, traveling from this microphone, traveling silent and immediate across sleepy homes and lost souls to your ears. You curl under a blanket, protecting your body from the world (excepting a few clever spiders), and you are listening, hearing me. Sleep heavily and know that I am here with you now. The past is gone, and cannot harm you anymore. And while the future is fast coming for you, it always flinches first, and settles in as the gentle present. This now, this us? We can cope with that. We can do this together, you and I, drowsily, but comfortably. Stay tuned now for our two-hour special, "Car Alarms and Their Variations," brought to you commercial-free by Canada Dry. Goodnight, Night Vale.


Welcome to Night Vale is a production of Commonplace Books. It is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, and produced by Joseph Fink. The voice of Night Vale is Cecil Baldwin. Original music by Disparition. All of it can be downloaded for free at disparition.info. This episode's weather was "The Brightness," by Anais Mitchell. Find out more at anaismitchell.com.

Today's proverb:
"Does the carpet match the drapes? No. It doesn't. You're the worst interior decorator. Please leave my home".

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