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The Hargreeves

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Death is a construct. Death is the perfect gift for your child’s eighth birthday party. Death is on sale at the Walmart’s for $99.99.


Welcome to Night Vale.


Hello listeners.


As you all know this week is Night Vale Remembrance week where citizens are encouraged by the Sheriff’s Secret Police to remember. Where we left the keys. Who murdered Aunt Gladys at dinner. The fact that we live in a cold, unfeeling Universe, utterly indifferent to whether we live or die.


A spokesperson from the Sheriff’s Secret Police said: “Yeah, so if you could just remember where the bodies are buried that’d be great. Kit was meant to be on duty that day, but he had a head cold you know how it is, and oops, we missed the ritual dismemberment and frantic dash to literally bury the evidence.”  


And haven’t we all done that listeners? Missed one important event because of the fragility of human nature.


Don’t forget to gather at town hall at the end of the week to have your new remembrances surgically removed, before consuming the traditional two pints of vodka while chanting: “Drink to forget.” Ah, the quaint traditions that make up the real personality of our small, desert town.


Listeners, I have just received a report that the Hargreeves have finally returned to town. You know the Hargreeves. The family of seven adopted children, one monkey, and a robot, raised by an abusive eccentric billionaire into a dysfunctional and ineffective crime fighting force.


“I don’t like the Hargreeves,” Mayor Dana Cardinal said, standing outside of the mayor’s office and making her daily public address into a bouquet of white tennis tees, “I’ve never trusted monkeys with those intelligent human-like eyes, and their small hands and their red bottoms. They’re too other and too similar at the same time. I fear them. And we should destroy what we fear.”


Five, a 58-year-old man stuck in the body of a 13-year-old-child due to no longer forbidden time travel shenanigans, was the only member of the Hargreeves family Intern Leonard was able to reach.


“The Apocalypse is coming,” he said, dressed in an adorable school-boy uniform, extremely pinchable cheeks flushed a bright red in anger, and cradling a large carafe of coffee from which the scent of despair and alcohol emanated, “We only have eight days to live. I’ve travelled back in time to stop it happening, but the only lead I have is this prosthetic eye.”


This eye, listeners, has not been manufactured yet. It may never be. The City Council said, hissing in unison: “Do not look at the time traveller. Do not look at the eye he holds out. Do not even cry the traditional greeting of ‘interloper’. Ignore the cute human. He does not exist. He is an illusion.”


And now a public service announcement:


The Night Vale Union of Mediums and Other Spirit Speakers advise you spend at least four minutes a day listening to your brother’s ghost. They claim an extremely attractive ghost, dark eyes burning with the passionate desire to interact with the world, and very fashionable tentacles extending from his chest, came to them and asked them to pass on this message.


“It’s not,” they communicate via Ouija board, “Aimed at anyone in particular. But you should all know that taking drugs to suppress your abilities isn’t a viable strategy Klaus and you’re going to have to man up and talk to me eventually.”


Wise words from the Night Vale Union of Mediums and Other Spirit Speakers. Listeners, I would recommend you take them to heart. After all, dead brothers have been known to impart great wisdom in times of need. If, you cry, you don’t have a dead brother check with your parents that none of your siblings have died recently or, in the case of emergencies, steal your friend’s dead brother.


This has been a public service announcement.


This just in: Luther Hargreeves, a mountain of a man were mountains real and not a collective hallucination created by the government to control our lungs, has been seen accosting people in the street outside Dark Owl Records, drunkenly slurring: “Fuck the moon.”


A sentiment that I believe we can all get behind.


Oh! Listeners. Sheriff Sam has just contacted me with urgent news.


“Two temporal assassins have been spotted in town,” they said, blood splatters littering their fashionable cowboy boots and beanie hat, “If you see them, fall to the ground and chant an ancient Incan incantation to summon an officer to the scene.”


More on this story as it breaks. And now- the weather.


(They Might Be Giant’s song Istanbul Not Constantinople plays)


Listeners. I apologise for the mix up that led the Sheriff’s Secret Police’s live broadcast of the fight inside Griddy’s donuts to be broadcast instead of the weather. Intern Leonard, who mixed up the wires, has gone to apologise to Station Management. My heart goes out to Intern Leonard.


Oh! Time traveller and assassin Five has appeared inside my studio.


“I don’t know how,” he says, “But the Apocalypse has been averted. We’re all safe.”


Are any of us really safe though, I ask myself while carefully lowering my head to avoid looking at Five as per council instructions. Every moment that we go through life any manner of disasters could occur such as being hit by a truck, or being hit by a bolt of lightning, or being kidnapped from our houses to be tortured by temporal assassins.


But for now Night Vale it seems that our small town has weathered the danger and we are all safe. All apart from poor Intern Leonard.


Up next, three hours of increasingly desperate cries of ‘KLAUS’ from the dearly departed members of the community.


Good night Night Vale. Good night.