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In The Beginning (There Was Only You)

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During the first couple of months that Carlos observed Cecil. Cecil was one of the most interesting people in Night Vale. He influenced many people and was a major source of information about the town. Cecil didn’t understand the science that caused many of the weird happenings, but he always knew what was happening. And Carlos was enchanted. 


Carlos stared in wonder. Tattoos marred Cecil's beautiful, tanned skin. Tentacles, eyes, geometric shapes. Carlos swore he saw them move. 


“Cecil?” Carlos asked, “Do you-- I mean, have you-- I--your tattoos?”


Cecil visibly brightened at the conversation topic, eager to tell Carlos about himself. “Oh, yes! I was gifted these by The Destroying God, Cyaegha. In my very first sacrifice, which I admit was amateur at best, Cyaegha blessed me with its marks.”


Carlos considered it for a moment, “does that happen often? How did they appear? Did it hurt or happen slowly? This is all very scientifically interesting.”


As Carlos said all of this, he touched Cecil’s arm, slowly moving it from wrist to elbow. Cecil was undeniably handsome, even with the inherent sense that he was dangerous. He incited a feeling of wariness, almost like the feeling a prey might have while being watched by a predator. Undeniably beautiful still. 


“Oh, it was a high honor to be chosen. As I performed the ritual, I very suddenly fainted, and when I awoke I was blessed with these marks. They never hurt, well, I don’t think they hurt. But they appeared very suddenly. Not all of them, of course. Some of them appeared after a particularly successful prayer.”


Religion was always a troubling subject, in conversation with science. Mostly Carlos lived and let live. There was no science that proved any gods didn’t exist, so he found himself ignoring the subject for things he could observe. Like Night Vale. He was curious about this, though. In Carlos’ eyes, magic was science that wasn’t understood, yet. 


“So. . . I see them move. Can they. . . do anything-- I mean-- are they helpful? To Cyaegha?” 


Cecil found Carlos’ stuttering words sooo cute! He obviously is interested in understanding this scientifically, but he couldn’t help but be excited that Carlos is talking to him about something so personal. 


“Oh, yes! These eyes here,” he pointed to the tattoos of eyes on both of his forearms, “help me see the town. I’m sure Cyaegha can see through them as well, but it does help me with broadcasts.” Cecil seemed sheepish to be using his blessing for his own purposes. “The tentacles also come out, but they are just to mark me as a patron of The Destroying God.”


Carlos’ interest peaked, but Cecil wanted to make this last as long as possible, so he spoke before Carlos could ask another question. “Do you, maybe, want to take this to Big Rico’s? I haven’t had my mandatory weekly pizza yet? If you’re interested, that is.”


Carlos looked surprised, but he was actually interested in getting to know Cecil. Cecil was beautiful and commanding and, quite frankly, interested in him like few people really were. 


“Yes, Cecil, I would really like that.”

At Big Rico’s Pizza, Carlos and Cecil sat together at a booth in the back.


Carlos huffed out a small laugh out of a realization. 


“Cecil, is there anything you would like to ask me? I just realized, for all I’ve listened to you, you haven’t actually gotten to ask your own questions.”


“Oh, well, hm,” Cecil seemed caught off guard, but he did have questions, “where were you before you came to Night Vale?”


“Well, it's hard to remember anywhere that was before Night Vale, nothing is as interesting as here. But, I have been to Washington state, California, mostly the Pacific Coast. I think I like the desert. It feels, unexplored. Everything here, and even in other places, is different, the storms, the nights, the animals. Nature. . .  is so scientifically interesting. There’s so much to study, so many places to study, all desert, all different.”


Cecil stared. Carlos was so passionate, Cecil hoped he would never stop talking about something he loved so much. Carlos did abruptly stop speaking though, looking chagrined at the realization that he was rambling. Cecil spoke.


“As interesting as you find Night Vale, I don’t think a whole year of my life is as interesting as one day of your life. You learn so much and have so much passion for what you do, I’m sure I could get lost in your findings. I mean, how much have you learned from just being here for a couple of weeks?”


Carlos seemed to startle at that, “Well, Night Vale is hard to understand, but I feel like we’re making as much progress as possible. But, you love what you do too, right? I know you do.”


“I absolutely love my work. I love this town, and I don’t mean to put it down. I love the citizens, I love reporting the news and helping people. I just find your life very fascinating is all.”


Carlos took a bit of pizza and seemed to approve the amendment, so Cecil decided to bring up another subject, one he is dying to know about.


“So. . . Carlos. . . what kind of shampoo do you use?”


All of a sudden, Carlos looked surprised again.


“I just mean, your hair looks so soft and shiny. I’m just curious in a very non-weird way, of course.” 

Carlos has heard the news reports before. He knows about Cecil's affinity for his hair, he just, didn’t expect a blatant question. Carlos pondered, maybe the reporter side of Cecil is one to ask the hard-hitting, direct questions. 


“Well, I just use whatever I find at the store. I’ve never paid much attention to it. Why? Do you have suggestions?” Carlos gave another breathy laugh because he was mostly joking. 


“Well. . . I do, I have done a little research, since I am quite into science these days, and I think I know which shampoo would be best for you.” 


“Oh...  thank you, Cecil. . . um, would you be comfortable answering more questions about Cyaegha? Or other Night Vale related questions?”


Cecil smiled and said, “yes, Carlos, I’d love to,” ready to stay until Big Rico’s closed.