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The Shape in Grove Park (episode)

Close your eyes. Let my words wash over you. You are safe now.


Welcome to Night Vale .


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 nearby neighborhoods, it is a Night Vale landmark and should be protected.


The Shape itself offered no comment — only a low moaning and gelatinous quiver. The City Council would not provide any reason for the removal, but they 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 our community.


The Night Vale Green Market Co-Op announces today that, after 15 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 consumers are more likely to buy products if they are available and for sale, and that Green Market and Grocery shoppers tend to purchase food items. Cortez says 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 an 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 this kid's odd life.


People in the know say that the new head is looking better, 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 of her house.


Sandero could not be reached for comment.


Probably.


We didn't really 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.


Shhhhh.


Let go.


And now a message from our sponsor.


Uh, Intern Leland, who is our first sponsor for today's show?

It is stamps dot com.



Tired of waiting in line at the Post Office ? Scared of the unexplained blood that pours from P.O. boxes? Confused by screams that no one else hears? Try stamps dot com.


With stamps dot com, you can print your own postage and avoid the long lines and predatory birds so common at the Post Office. You can even have your postal carrier pick up your packages, as long as you're careful never to look the carrier in the eyes, as this is a sign of aggression and you may scare your postal carrier away.


Stamps dot com has a special offer for Night Vale Community Radio listeners. Sign up now, and receive a bag full of magic rocks, $50 worth of self loathing, and a free scale, so you can arbitrarily assign numbers to material objects.


To claim your new member benefits, simply visit stamps dot com, and press your forehead against the radio mic in the upper-right corner of your screen until your entire body falls forwards into the alternate stamps dot com universe.


Stamps dot com will tell your family you loved them very much. Stamps dot com will tell your family that stamps dot com loves them very much.


"Come here, family. You are all our family now," stamps dot com will say, stretching their many boneless arms around your entire family. "Come here. We are all a loving family."


Stamps dot com. You live in a dead world. We love you.


Ah, thank you so much, Leland ! And now, 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 that Rita was looking a little bit older, moderately obese, and considerably more Hispanic, but the Angel assured her it was indeed Rita. And he is an Angel after all...he would know, right? Wow! Wow! Rita Hayworth! Here in Night Vale! Just imagine!


And now, an 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 mic 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 Theater is holding auditions for its fall show, "Once On This Island." Interested thespians should bring a head shot and resume to the Recreation Center auditorium on Thursday night.


All auditionees must perform a one-minute monologue and sing one song. Bring sheet music along 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 Theater is an equal-opportunity employer.


Oh, 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, and 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 it? 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. Is it – is it 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 .


And now, a word from our sponsor. Leland? Uh, who else do we have supporting our show?

Well, Cecil, I'd like to take a second now to tell you about hulu dot com.



Huuuuuuuuuuuuullluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.


Let's talk about watching things. Let's talk about watching, rather than actually watching. Let's think about talking about watching a second-hand experience. Let's continually abstract ourselves from what we believe is the world.


Huuuuuulluuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.


The pulsing life of your body is an undeniable fact, but deny it anyway. Looking for the answers to all of life's problems? We recommend obstinate denial. Accept no substitute. Accept nothing.


Huuuuuulluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!


Water circles the drain of our planet, always coming back for one more go to see if the cycle will be different. It will not be different. The sky will break open, and water will fall, one more time.


One more time.


Huluuu.


The terror you feel in quiet moments is not misplaces, just mis-timed.


Hulu. Hulu. Hulu. Hulu. Hulu. Hulu. Hulu! Hulu!!


Hulu dot com! Sign up now, and get the latest episode of


[static sounds with a hint of distant horns, perhaps?]


OK, that's it for me, see you later!


Thank you, Leland!




The Night Vale School District has announced some changes to the elementary school curriculum. They are as follows:


In response to parent feedback, history classes will focus more heavily on textbook readings and traditional exams, rather than live ammo drills.


Oh, geology is adding a new type of rock on the grounds that it's been a while since anybody has done that. The new type of rock 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 stargazing sessions only with blindfolds on every participant, in order to protect them from the existential terror of the void.


Oh, 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.


And 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 caused by my inability to admit the tragedy of my own existence.


Intern Leland 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 giving me that 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 cup produced? Hmm.


Oh, Leland is, uh, back in the room, and he's waving at me — um, hello, Leland — uh, he's saying...wait, what was that, Leland?

Cecil, the Shape has turned a molten red, and is causing small whirlwinds in front of our radio station doors. There is the 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, I...



Hang on...


Listeners, Leland has stopped speaking, 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 Which 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...ahh.


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 now 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 we join you in mourning his loss.


And, without further ado, nor ever again mentioning anything we shouldn't, let's go to the weather .


["Jerusalem" by Dan Bern]


Hello listeners.


In breaking news, the sky. The earth. Life.


Existence as an unchanging plane, 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 but you should not draw any meaning from this.


The service for Leland was lovely. We threw flowers and wept. He was buried in the break room, as is our custom. His family came, and mooned around the office, as though we had answers.


But 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, Night Vale. Goodnight.

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