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Gifted (A Night Vale Radio Special Report)

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There is a star gleaming in the sky. It is a portent of things to come. We do not know what things, but events that are heralded by flame in the darkness should be feared. Fear the coming dawn. Welcome to Night Vale.

Listeners. I have terrible news. So terrible I can’t even speak of it. I am still too distraught over the magnitude of this betrayal.  But because it is Christmas Eve, and because there are several important news items to be discussed, I will attempt to soldier on and deliver the news as usual.

The Sherriff’s Secret Police have issued a statement this morning reminding citizens to keep alert this Christmas for the suspicious-looking bearded man in red who was spotted in several Night Vale residences this time last year.  The Secret Police would like to speak with this individual, alias Saint Nick, about crimes including trespassing, cookie theft, and knowing who is naughty or nice.   The Secret Police would like to remind everyone that they are the only ones who can determine whether you have been naughty or nice. Additionally, they would like to remind you that they see you when you’re sleeping, so you should probably sleep more.  Not sleeping is a sign that you have something to hide. They are watching.

The Mayor’s office would once again like to remind Night Vale citizens that official celebrations of the Winter Solstice are ongoing.  If you have not yet volunteered to help appease the Old Gods, please do so at your earliest convenience. Remember, volunteering is mandatory, so get in early if you want a good position!  The Mayor would also like to remind everyone that supplies of municipally approved seasonal greeting cards are dwindling fast. They’re all out of Christmas and Festivus cards, but you can still stop by for all of your Kwanza, Hanukah, and Pepper Pot Day greeting card needs!

Okay, okay, I can’t do it any longer. I have to tell you about the terrible tragedy.  Carlos, beautiful, sweet Carlos of the luscious locks, has not gotten me anything for Christmas.  It is the night before Christmas, and there is only one box sitting under my tree. Listeners, this is a betrayal of the highest order! I mean, maybe Christmas isn’t scientific, but it’s traditional. And you would think that wonderful, beloved Carlos would know that it is a civic mandate that all gifts be reciprocated.  I mean, listeners, I don’t want to get him in trouble but there are protocols to be followed here.  I don’t make the rules.

For the sake of this show, however, I’m going to try to remain calm. But first, a word from our sponsors.

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An update from the Mayor’s office has just been delivered by a small child with blank, staring eyes.  Apparently they are still in need of volunteers for the ritual sacrifice…oh, no, I’m sorry, that says volunteers to host the ritual sacrifice.  They’ve decided to go with goats this year, and they need someone to volunteer their household stone circle. Volunteers should, by preference, also have a small shed they can use to contain the goats, as they have been known to bite. If you would be willing to donate the use of your stone circle, please contact the Mayor’s office via carrier pigeon, or by flagging down one of the messenger children. The one here at the station appears to be captivated by the Christmas tree…oh, and I mean that in the absolutely literal sense. I think the tree is…engulfing him with its branches. More on that. Maybe.

One of the station interns is signaling frantically for my attention, listeners. I’m…not really sure what she wants, but I think I’d better go find out. While I’m doing that, I’ll leave all of you with the weather.

(Today’s weather is “O Come O Come Emmanuel” by Hey Rosetta!)

Listeners, I have to run, but I needed to share the wonderful news with you first! Carlos. Beautiful, magical, Christmassy Carlos has been spotted wearing a Santa hat and placing a package under the tree at my house.  He was then spotted getting tangled in the branches and nearly pulling the tree over, and listeners I’m sorry to cut today’s broadcast short but I have to go home immediately and start trying to figure out what’s in the package!

Stay tuned for Christmas cheer being beamed straight into your heart, until it grows several sizes. (A disclaimer: The Night Vale Medical Board would like to warn you that megalocardia is a serious medical condition and you should consult with your physician or shaman immediately if symptoms develop.)

For now, listeners, I leave you with this final thought. Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All will remain calm. Calm is required by law. Good night, Night Vale. Good night.