I don’t know if any of you have listened to Welcome to Night Vale, but if you do then this the structure of this story will sound familiar. If you haven’t listened to it, then the premise of WTNV is it is a series of podcasts based on a radio station in the weirdest town in the world.
This story is pretty much like that.
The following is a transcript from Fairton Community Radio, January 6th
Greetings, listeners. To start us off, the Fairton Public High School student council has asked me to read this short notice. The Fairton Public High School student council is proud to announce the first annual Fairton Science Day, held this coming Saturday at 3AM to 3:07AM. Come and see what the best and brightest students of Fairton’s very own Public High School has to offer. Please, bring no electronics, recording devices, or synthetic clothing. The Fairton Public High School administration would also like to remind you that they are not liable for any injury, serious maiming, death and/or disintegration. So come on down this Saturday and watch the future unfold before your very own wide, unblinking horrified eyes.
And now, the news.
It’s been a bright and sunny day out there in Fairton, isn’t it? Many of you have been calling in to the station and emailing us and texting us about that. It seems that many of us are not used to this sudden light in the crushing darkness of our existence. Remember Fairton, there’s no need to panic. That bright burning ball in the sky is not about to destroy us, not at least for another several billion years, and none of us are going to live that long to witness it anyway. So, relax. Take comfort in your short, fleeting and thoroughly meaningless existences. I know I will.
We here at Fairton Community Radio are pleased to introduce our newest Initiate to our ranks, John Patterby. John found himself here this morning, dressed head-to-toe in a white robe robe, stained a dark maroon by dried splatters of blood. He says he does not remember why he is here, or even where he is, or who he is. He says his memory comes to him in short, terrifying flashes of a some strange and eldritch ritual, performed in some dank and dark basement at the farthest corner of the globe, and that he could hear chants in a long dead language. John is also very good at sound mixing. We have him working the audio equipment right now! John says hello, Fairton.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m afraid there are some issues that have come up that I must address on the air. Now, I’m not one for editorializing, especially on air, but enough is enough I say. In today’s modern times, there are certain traditions that must undergo change or be eliminated completely. That is just the nature of progress. Sometimes, things just get left behind. However, there are things that we, as a community, cannot let go lest we risk losing our very identities, lest we lose the thing that separates us from all the rest. There are just some things that we must hold onto with every fibre of our beings, that we must grab onto with our claws and fangs and talons and various other appendages and never let go.
And so, I say that all children should be sworn to the blood-oath, the same blood-oath we all have taken before them. It is true that some parents feel that it is an old, outdated and barbaric ritual. A ritual that is forced upon the only vestiges of innocence in our cruel and fragile world before they are able to fully comprehend the true gravity of their oaths. Is it old? Yes. Is it outdated? Yes, there are absolutely some aspects of the ritual that can be updated, such as that same old altar that everyone uses, just behind Town Hall.
But is it truly barbaric to swear our children into a millennia old oath to stay loyal to the Creators and to await their return? Well, let me ask a counter question. Is it barbaric to keep our history alive? Is it so bestial to remain faithful to the Oh Powerful Creator, the Oh-So-Powerful Creator who made us us in the awe-inspiring heat of the Solar Forge?
I rest my case.
Now, time for traffic.
I’ve been getting reports of heavy congestion on the the south-bound highway leading out of Fairton. This is strange, as the south-bound highway does not actually go anywhere. It just stretches out into the distance, stretching for as far as the eye can see and further, beyond the horizon. There have been efforts to measure the distance of the highway but all the equipment used to try to measure the highway have all either catastrophically failed, or run out of batteries, and they just could not be bothered to get more. Many experts agree however, that the highway is definitely the result of black magic.
So, maybe take a different route today listeners.
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Hold on a moment, listeners, I’ve just been handed a note from one of the station interns. It’s from John Patterby. Strange, I haven’t seen John move once from his spot in the sound booth. Well, let’s see what it says.
Well, that is odd. Listeners, John says here that there are dark goings-on today. His handwriting is remarkably neat and tidy, although the ink appears to be running down the page, making it hard for me to read his red lettering. He says, and I quote, that they are coming, dear Lord they are coming, dear Lord save us from their enveloping darkness. The Elder Ones. They are so numerous, so large, they blot out all of the stars in the sky. They drift towards us, asleep on the vast cosmic ocean, and soon will wake in strange waters. Our waters. We will all kneel and grovel before them for they are our leaders, and we are but insects in their presence. We are dirt.
We. Are. Dirt.
Well, I don’t know about dark goings-on, and enveloping darkness, and vast cosmic oceans, but I do know good prose when I see it. This note has all the elements of a budding story, just waiting to be told. I did not know that John was such a talent at crafting fiction. I think he’ll go far that man, you mark my words, Fairton. Mark my words.
An update on the Fairton Science Day. The Fairton Public High School student council wishes to retract their announcement about the Fairton Science Day. They say that Science Day is not even really a thing and that we should all forget about Science Day, right now.
They clarified that Science Day is still being held this Saturday, at the same time, but that we are not granted the right to that information. Instead, the Science Day will be held and no one will attend, save a few tall bald men in dark suits from the government. Or at least, we think they are from the government, said the Fairton Public High School student council. It’s just that their blank and empty expressions, coupled with eyes devoid of any life, light and/or laughter, made them look like they’re from the government.
The Fairton Public High School administration apologises for the error and pledges they will immediately remove the existing student council for their failure and replace them with a more malleable, more easily controlled puppet council. Any student wishing to participate in this new puppet council are encouraged to talk to the school’s councillor immediately.
An explosion was reported at Bill & Dolly’s Gelato and Ice Cream Shop. Onlookers described a scene of carnage inside the quaint little white-plank house that serves delicious and authentic gelato and ice cream, open since whenever. They said that the floor was covered in broken glass and debris, as if something had torn through the building. However, they also said that there was absolutely nothing broken. The windows were intact and all of the patrons inside appeared to be treating themselves to Bill & Dolly’s signature Mint and Lamb Ice Cream. No one seemed to be moving. They were all frozen in the middle of whatever it was they were doing at the time. A crowd soon gathered outside of the Gelato and Ice Cream Shop and began to steal whatever they could from the stationary and unmoving patrons.
And if you’re one of the people who were frozen at Bill & Dolly’s Gelato and Ice Cream Shop and had your personal possessions stolen, remember that vigilante justice is, as always, highly encouraged.
Listeners, John has given me another note. He’s really let his handwriting go. It may not seem like much but I’ll tell you, John, publishers take notice of things like this. There are smears of blood and viscera all over the paper. It looks like he’s written this with his fingers.
The Elder Ones are coming. Even now, I can feel them approach. They are like a blight on the horizon, a terrible darkness that is slowly sweeping across the land like night falling upon our small and meaningless world. I can see the stars winking out one by one, consumed by the Elder Ones’ darkness. One is nearby. He will be with us soon and His coming will be foretold by madness and insanity. Some will hurt others, some will hurt themselves. We writhe in His coming. We writhe in His glorious coming. He will consume our meagre existence and gift us with the sweet release of the grave and we shall love Him for it.
Keep it up, John. At this rate, you won’t have to be working in the sound booth. One of these days, some publisher is going to snatch you up and your name will be known all across the globe.
And listeners, I wouldn’t worry too much about Elder Ones and deep, dark eldritch monstrosities. In the end, our level of consciousness is so low that we will not even be able to comprehend the effects that these cosmic beings will have on our fragile reality. Instead, our minds would simply collapse underneath the immense strain of this whole new plane of existence and likely send us into a deep and potentially permanent coma. You probably won’t even experience more than a single moment of mind-destroying soul terror before your slip into unconsciousness.
So relax. Sometimes we must accept that some things are just beyond our control, and we should move on.
Looks like it’s going to be a clear night here in Fairton. I hope all of you have someone to share this night with. Or, at least, good memories of when you did.