"Blinking red lights in the night sky. The future is changing, but it's hard to tell. Welcome to Night Vale."There's a mysterious (possibly government-created) sandstorm hitting the town of Night Vale, but for the most part, it's business as usual. Cecil takes listener e-mails and updates everybody on local sports and traffic.Traffic: Highway officials warn Night Vale residents to stay off the roads. The sandstorm makes travel nearly impossible. Several cars are stalled. Many drivers fought what appeared to be their clones. All stop signs and traffic lights taken down for polishing.Old Woman Josie has posted some runes on her Facebook: "They come in twos. You come in twos. You and you. Kill your double." Also, adorable cat gifs.Financial news??? There is a child dragging a hatchet, his eyes cast down and tight. His eyes are superfluous. He knows not what he sees but he knows what is there. A single black-winged beast alights on the child's shoulder. The beast picks at the boy's ear. Clouds keep poisonous rains at bay. The bird knows. The boy throws a hatchet at something.Mayor has declared state of emergency. Everyone must stay in their homes. Then she says she was lying, and that was an impostor. She wrestles her double for the microphone.Cecil says not to murder your double. Violence is not the answer. Dana the intern is fighting her double.Word from our sponsors: Home improvement project. Incomplete? Having strange feelings? Is your body filled with hot blood, waving curves of sinew and skin? Can you feel that blood? Is it even your blood? Are you dizzy from it all? Where are your hands now? Where are they going? Where are you going? What is trust? Is making a thing proof that you exist? Is fixing a thing proof that you have transcended mortality? History? Feel things? Feel things? We can help. The Home Depot.One Dana is dead but the other is alive and Cecil doesn't know which is the original and which is the double. An email from Steve Carlsberg: he believes the sandstorm is a coverup created by the government. Cecil says of course it is; the government can do anything.A mysterious blue portal appears in the studio, and Cecil enters to see where it leads...Another reporter appears in the studio from Desert Bluffs. He believes he has gone back in time.After the weather, Cecil has returned. He saw his clone (possibly) in the vortex and almost killed it, but remembered his stance against violence and let it live.
Tropes present in The Sandstorm Part A include:
- Foreshadowing: Kevin makes a few off putting comments in passing that are very disturbing clues later on. For example, the "odd and bloodless desk."
- Worst News Judgement Ever: Intern Dana tells Cecil that Old Woman Josie has posted a strange pictures of runes on her Facebook page. Translated, they tell a cyptic message about killing your double, but Cecil gets distracted by the adorable cat gifs.
"Today's proverb: Step one: write down the names of everyone you know. Step two: rearrange the letters. Step three: this will reveal a great secret of time."