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There is a building. Imagine it, if you can. It is a building that you’ve never seen before. You don’t know where it is. It could be anywhere. In that building is a cellar, and in that cellar is a heavily bolted door, and a chair, and ropes, and a man.
These are the four constants to that cellar. The door, the chair, the ropes, the man. They do not leave. Sometimes there are other things in the cellar – food and water, and a bucket, occasionally. Other people. Blood. Instruments for drawing blood. Screams. Instruments for drawing screams. Sometimes the cellar is hot. Sometimes it is cold. Sometimes it is too light to sleep. Sometimes it is too dark to see.
At present, the contents of the cellar are as follows: The door, the chair, the ropes, the man. Darkness. A slowly congealing line of blood from a split lip, down a trembling chin, down a throat that constricts with failed efforts to hold back tears, down to a shuddering chest. A soft, sobbing sound.
A weeping, Night Vale! And, joy of joys, this weeping is for you, my friends. Strex has generated a beautiful, gentle weeping, just for you. The tears harvested from the man in the cellar in the building in you-know-not-where are for you all. For this show. For the town of Night Vale itself. For children once lost, and now found. For a young intern now very, very lost. For mountains and angels and various things that do not exist. For a mother. For a niece. For a damaged and faulty cat. For the man's own self. For hurt endowed upon his mind and his heart and his body, and in anticipation of further hurt promised upon them in the near future. For a home. For a home that is more than bricks and mortar – for the man that lets him call his home his home.
‘Carlos,’ say the sobs. Not out loud. He dares not speak the words out loud, but that is still what the weeping says. ‘Carlos. Where are you?’
What a great question, Night Vale. Where are you, Carlos? Where are you? The man in the cellar is not the only one who would like to know. In fact, it was believed up until recently that the man in the cellar was the best person to ask this question, but he does not know. He has claimed that, even if he did know, he would not tell, although this was found to be a false claim, made prior to a period of thorough investigation, during which if he knew, he would indeed have told. He would have told everything.
He weeps for this fact as well, even though he had nothing to tell. He weeps for a betrayal that never occurred. Ah, love.
What is betrayal, Night Vale? Is it turning your back on a smiling god, on the perfection that Strex brings to us? Is it standing by and watching an uprising fail – watching as children and a lone voice are taken away? Is it breaking, as they turn the pain up that fraction higher? Is it hiding away and refusing to answer your lover’s call, when he only wants to know where you are? Knowing that he will need to know the answer sooner or later, as they are bound to ask again, perhaps more forcefully next time. And again, and again, until there is an answer to be given.
Where are you, Carlos? Where are you? We know you’re out there somewhere, and your boyfriend would like you to know that he would just love to go home now. Where are you, Carlos? What are you up to, with your science? Where. Are. You?
This has been Business News.