Dipper stared reluctantly down at the old radio Stan had set down in front of him. It was a bit dusty, and may once have been a silvery color, but now was an coppery rusted color. He frowned.
"Grunkle Stan, when I asked if you could get me a radio, I didn't mean... this thing..."
Stan rolled his eyes at Dipper and put a hand on the radio.
"This old thing'll work fine for ya, kid! It's the same one I used when I was your age!"
Dipper eyed it again.
"I can tell."
"It's either that or nothing, kiddo."
"Thanks, Grunkle Stan."
Stan left the room, closing the creaky wooden door behind him.
Dipper sat cross-legged on the floor, fiddling with the buttons. He was tempted to go ask Grunkle Stan or Grunkle Ford how it worked, but neither of them would probably help right now.
Even Mabel was over at Pacifica's house for a sleepover that night.
He frowned again, and twisted a dial. The radio made a few staticky sounds, and then a man's deep, almost soothing voice came a little too clearly from the speakers.
"Red sky at night. Sailors delight. Red sky at night. The sailors are howling and laughing. The sailors begin to surround us and the night sky is so very red. Welcome to Night Vale."
Dipper's eyes widened. What in the world had that been?
After that strange... what sounded like an introduction, the radio went staticky again.
He could only make out a few words in each sentence, most notably things like "Tamika Flynn" or "Strexcorp." Dipper had no clue what those things meant, but he wanted to find out.
He jumped up off the ground.
The young boy dug around under his bed, finally, with a triumphant gesture, pulling out a battered purple notebook and a ballpoint pen.
He turned up the volume on the radio and turned a few dials so he could hear better.
Dipper intently scrawled out what he could hear from the radio speakers, eventually having to stop due to the sun finally setting over the trees.
"Goodnight, Night Vale. Good night."
Dipper laid on his bed, lantern on the nightstand flickering in the darkness.
It didn't make any sense! Was it some kind of fictional radio show?
No, it couldn't be... it sounded too authentic.
But how could these things be happening in this town the man on the radio talked about? How could nobody else have heard about these things?
From what it sounded like, this "Strexcorp" was hunting for a girl not much older than Dipper or his sister.
Dipper groaned. Why was he getting so caught up in this? This had nothing to do with Gravity Falls or any of its mysteries.
Yet, somehow, this little desert town on the radio had become a mystery itself.
Dipper pored over the words he'd written down, slowly dozing off as he re-read them.