Wow, what a weird little prompt for this particular day. Given the weirdness, I figured it was just right for my first attempt at a Welcome to Night Vale fic. And yes, I know this’ll definitely get Jossed—because Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor are way more awesome than I am.
Spoiler alert: I’m up to episode 67 “[Best Of?]”, so anything that’s gone on before may show up here too, some in an oblique kind of way. You have been warned.
Day 6—5/14/15: “Write a story that includes: twins, a 12-layer cake, a house that seems to be haunted but isn’t…”
To be or not to be… that is the question. The ultimate question, because we are and are not. We are in the space between. Welcome to Night Vale.
Dear readers, as you can tell, I’ve returned from my vacation in that Desert Otherworld. Oh my god, it was such a blast!
My dear, sweet, perfect Carlos—whom I’ve missed so very, very much—was there and we did… science-y things. Yes. We did lots of science-y things. Behind the sagebrush. After dark.
We also found that the new spa center’s top floor appeared to be… haunted. Two identical children—well, two identical people the size of children but weren’t really children at all—appeared and then disappeared on the stairs leading to the top floor.
Carlos—my dear, sweet, perfect Carlos with his perfect hair—didn’t know what to make of it. And I may or may have not shrieked in fright, but I most definitely did not pass out from the shock of seeing those phantom twin not-children standing only a few feet away from me.
These not-children were translucent and fuzzy and almost completely white, like a black-and-white photocopy of a color picture.
Carlos said that the readings he was getting from them were off the charts… and that’s good, I guess. But the not-children didn’t say anything, didn’t move—they were simply there one minute and gone the next.
But this ghostly apparition was no ghost at all, as they showed up at the same time and same place every day, for the same length of time—just two minutes. And Night Vale citizens, we all know that ghosts don’t do that. The details on ghosts have been in the Night Vale High School’s occult sciences textbook for decades. We all know what ghosts look like and how they behave and this wasn’t it.
Carlos—my beautiful, smart, perfect Carlos—decided to light the staircase with black light in order to see something that might be missed in normal florescent lighting.
And then we waited. And then the not-children arrived, and we saw.
A faint spotlight shining down on the not-children, coming right through the roof, haloing them in its soft light.
We held our breath, and waited, and heard a faint voice whisper just below the volume of a human breath, “Ssssstttttttrrrrreeeeeeexxxxx.”
The not-children did not return after that night.
Oh, but that’s not the good part—two days before the end of my vacation time, Carlos did the most amazing thing! He decided we should celebrate our anniversary early, because we didn’t know when I’d be able to come back.
So for our anniversary, one of the angels that totally don’t exist—I mean, one of the Erikas—helped Carlos bake a twelve-layer cake for us to celebrate. It was so delicious, with triple chocolate and the cutest little whip-cream florets and oh, I wish I could have posted an Instagram pic of it, but my cell phone went dead for some reason when I tried to get a shot of Carlos and Erika standing next to the cake.
Oh well. But it’s great to be back in Night Vale, and I’ll see you on the air soon!
Until then this is Cecil Gershwin Palmer, saying…
Good night, Night Vale. Good night.