"That's odd, the weatherman predicted clear skies until tomorrow afternoon." Young Crowe stated, gazing up at the sky. Just minutes ago the sky had been rather clear and pleasant, while Crowe and his companions played around in the sunshine. Now a mass of rather dark clouds hung in the atmosphere, having seemingly rolled in from nowhere. Crowe and his older friend, Red, had stopped their two-person game of soccer to observe the unusual change in weather. Their younger friend, Donnie, seemed quite oblivious to the situation, doing some sort of eccentric dance nearby.
"Donnie, where did you learn that dance?" Red asked, watching him curiously.
The dance was an odd one; he was hunched over, quickly stepping and shuffling his feet around on the grass while flailing his arms around haphazardly.
"I don't know." Donnie replied, slowing down to a stop as he grew rather tired. "I just like it."
"…Well, I think we should head back home. The weather doesn't look so good anymore."
It was only then that the youngest of the three noticed the change in weather, glancing up at the sky and reacting with an unperturbed shrug. It had been his suggestion to head out into the grassy fields to enjoy the good weather and get some fresh air, to play some sports and run around. Now Donnie didn't seem too interested in staying out any longer either, so he nodded in agreement with Red's suggestion to call it a day.
It was not long after the three close friends had arrived back at their peaceful home that the odd change in weather had corrected itself and the sky was clear again. Crowe found the weather activity to be rather curious, but soon decided to shrug it off as Red had. Donnie appeared to barely take notice of it, cheerfully eating a slice of watermelon at the kitchen table while Red turned the radio back on. The little red radio was still tuned in to the local news and weather station from earlier in the day, so Red tuned it into one of their favourite stations, a station that played an endless stream of white noise and wobbly-sounding, distorted, old-timey tunes. The sound would be unsettling to most, but they found it rather comforting.
About a week later, something similar happened again. In fact, it had happened a couple times over the week, the weather briefly bringing unpredicted dark clouds, but no-one took much notice. Donnie had been in his bedroom alone, dancing in front of his mirror. He didn't know what it was about this dance, but he enjoyed it, the first time he had attempted that bizarre flailing motion it had just felt natural to him, refreshing, perhaps. He'd do it if he was feeling happy, or frustrated, or just needed a way of burning energy. However, his first memory of the motions was created under very unpleasant circumstances.
It had taken place on the 19th of June, a date known for its strange and often unsettling phenomena in local culture. The three friends had been sitting silently at the kitchen table, possibly in an unsuccessful attempt to not stir up any of the phenomena mentioned before. A nearby notepad suddenly gained sentience, springing to life with seemingly benevolent intentions and encouraging them to 'get creative'. This notepad's ideals on creativity were quite irregular though, especially towards poor Donnie. When he had showed some initiative by painting a clown (A rather good one at that), the notepad told him to 'slow down' before rather callously pouring black ink all over the near-finished painting. The notepad had also insisted that Donnie's favourite colour, green, was 'not a creative colour' without any given reason. Aside from those odd hiccups, everything seemed to go fairly well with this small paper stranger, until all of a sudden all hell broke loose. Vivid hallucinations had erupted through the minds of Donnie and his companions as they flailed and squealed in their seats, experiencing delusions of disorientation, violent weather, and inexplicable gore. At one point they thought they were cutting slices of cake made of some gruesome raw meaty mass. It was during these delusions that Donnie first experienced that dance. He had no idea why he did it, of course, but it was part of the hazy, distorted memory he retained from the event. Some other memories of the occurrence were better left forgotten, and may have been if it weren't for the raw, bloody taste left in their mouths for a while afterwards. The notepad suggested they agree 'to never be creative again' after that, and never spoke to them again.
Donnie shivered a little as he recalled that day, now a few months behind them, before being interrupted by Red's calm voice outside his room.
"I'd better bring the washing in, Crowe; it looks like it might rain." Red called out impassively.
Following Red outside to the clothesline, Donnie could see that the sky did indeed look as if it might be bringing a shower, with rainclouds looming overhead. They didn't stretch out over a vast area, though, so it seemed they might pass soon. While Red unpegged various damp clothing and sheets from the clothesline, the dark clouds began to dissipate, to his unexpressed frustration. He hadn't seen the clouds come in from anywhere, and he was beginning to lose trust in the meteorologists, so he had to make the decision of whether or not to take a risk and hang the laundry back up.
"Those weathermen need to get their act together." Red stated in a mostly unimpressed tone to his young friend, who stood silently beside him.
Over the next year and a half or so, people in the area quickly took notice of the erratic weather patterns that would occur from time to time, but most eventually came to accept them. No meteorologist could figure out why a clear, sunny day could suddenly turn to a brief sprinkling of rain from a dark sky out of nowhere in only a few minutes. The weather, although inconvenient and perhaps even a bit unsettling at times, wasn't doing any harm to anyone so they got used to it. However, there was a handful of townsfolk who acted as 'conspiracy theorists', blaming such phenomena on curses, superstition and bad spirits, but they were generally ignored.
During one of the later days of spring, Donnie's deadbeat father Roy was passed out face-down on the sofa again. Goodness knows what he'd been doing earlier. Donnie prodded him awake.
"Uurngh… Whaddaya want." The father grunted, scratching at the few strands of wiry blue hair he had left on his head.
"Nothing, just making sure you're not dead." Donnie replied, a slight tone of relief in his voice. Of course, it wasn't the first time he'd woken his passed-out father in such a way.
He was rather bored now. Crowe was visiting his parents during one of the few days they were both around to spend time with him, and Red was out shopping. Since getting any fun or entertainment out of his dad didn't seem like an option, Donnie had only his imagination to play with.
Now awoken and suffering a headache, Roy had to endure the racket of his son running up and down the house, talking to himself and causing a ruckus. Giving in and looking up over the back of the sofa, he didn't know whether he was amused or annoyed by what he saw.
"Cut out that silly victory dance, kid." Roy muttered to his son with a subtle laugh.
Donnie had started doing that dance again, almost out of habit, kicking about his legs and waving his arms, hunched over. The boy just giggled and kept going, letting his imagination run wild to amuse himself. With a grunt, Roy pulled himself sluggishly off the sofa and over to the window, squinting at the sunlight he hadn't bothered to wander directly into for quite a while.
He couldn't help but notice the dark clouds of moisture forming out of the air, rolling together into rainclouds at alarming speed. The man's blank, hung-over expression fell to a slightly worried one as he glanced at his son and then back out the window. Sure enough, it began to rain, perhaps slightly heavier than it had been before. Something in Roy's head clicked, his eyes widened and a vulgar expression was muttered under his breath in slight alarm.
"I said cut it out!" He demanded rather sharply, making Donnie flinch a little as he stopped dancing abruptly.
Donnie had seen his father get irritable at him for no real reason enough times to not be particularly shocked, but he was certainly disappointed. He wasn't sure why his dad hated that dance all of a sudden, as he hadn't seemed to care much about it before. Not long later, the rainclouds began to clear away.
The weather appeared to be a lot more stable over the next several months. Unpredicted occurrences of rain happened much less frequently, most rainfall was consistent and expected. Still, surprise showers still fell from time to time, but to no-one's major concern. Crowe's rekindled curiosity towards the period of unexplainably erratic weather had spread to Donnie. No-one could explain why during that one year those unexpected rainclouds had started appear, or why they were now starting to occur less often. Most peculiarly, they had only been appearing around this specific area, other towns and cities had reported only stable, predictable weather patterns.
"This is still incredibly strange!" Crowe expressed aloud to himself and to his companion, as he paced back and forth across the living room. "There are no significant events, climatic or otherwise, to link to these sudden bursts of rain! And nothing to suggest what caused the period of erratic weather to start and to slow down!"
Donnie sat down in Red's favourite green armchair and thought to himself. When did the last few 'surprise showers' happen? He remembered one had happened during Red's recent birthday party. It wasn't a huge party, just the three of them and some of his closest family members, with simple music and snacks. Still, they all had a good time, even when Donnie ate all the sugary snacks and became rather hyperactive, to the amusement of some of Red's more laid-back family members. Another time was during the June 19th festival, when everyone was singing and dancing to give acknowledgement to the partially dreaded day of the paranormal. After Donnie and his friends (Who had reluctantly joined him after much persuasion) made it back home soaking wet from the rain, they dried off and sat down for videogames only to be so rudely interrupted by a cheerful potted flower that enlightened them to the joys of nature. Quite alike the similar incidents on that date the previous two years, it did not end well. Other times it began to rain unexpectedly were during odd celebrations and parties and such that Donnie attended.
"Maybe it rains when people have parties." Donnie suggested.
"I doubt it." Crowe replied, shaking his head. "People have parties every day. If that were the case it would rain almost constantly, and the change in weather patterns would have started long before just a couple of years ago. Even then, a party wouldn't have any effect on the weather, would it?"
Donnie fell silent, putting his hand to his chin as he thought to himself. Crowe sighed and sat down in his rocking chair, rather defeated, as Red entered the room. Knowing his older friend would want that green chair, Donnie stood up and left the room silently through the door to the front yard, still deep in thought. He began to figure something out, something that might have sounded crazy, but he wanted to put it to the test anyway just to be sure. Looking up at the sky, the boy noted the rather clear, calm weather. Just the weather he needed.
Without any further preparation necessary, he began to dance. He danced hunched over, legs kicking and arms waving wildly, like river dancing with much less rhythm or co-ordination. Within a minute, clouds began to build up in the sky around and thicken, turning dark before dropping rain on all below.
"So… It was me the entire time?" Donnie asked himself as he stopped, gazing up at the sky and admiring his work.
It wasn't until the next morning that Donnie told his friends about what he had discovered. They were eating breakfast together silently when it was brought up out of the blue.
"It rains when I dance." Donnie announced unexpectedly.
Crowe and Red were a bit startled by the sudden statement. They didn't quite understand what he meant.
"What was that?" Crowe replied, needing to hear it again.
"It rains when I dance." The youngest repeated.
"Oh." Crowe uttered softly with a slightly perplexed nod.
The bird shifted his attention to Red, who blinked and gave a soft shrug. They both figured their friend was pointing out a strange coincidence to them, a barely significant one at that. Donnie thought they had understood what he meant, and thought little of their response, or lack thereof.
Several weeks passed before anyone brought it up again. The kitchen radio was tuned in to the weather channel while Crowe, Red and Donnie enjoyed dinner quietly together. It was a 24-hour weather channel, a consistent droning of all local climatic events and predictions, and the erratic appearances of rain had been a popular topic of discussion for a long time now.
"…It may be… That whatever caused this meteorological phenomenon… Is beginning to fade away… The cause of this… May be a mystery… For all eternity…" A gloomy voice droned slowly though the fuzzy radio reception.
"That's just because I don't do my special dance much anymore." Donnie stated nonchalantly, before eating another forkful of mashed potato.
"What do you mean?" Red asked, looking up and laying his fork down beside his plate in a mix of curiosity and concern.
"Whenever I do that dance I like, it starts to rain." The boy explained. "I used to do it a lot more but Dad doesn't like it now for some reason so I only do the dance sometimes. Even then he sometimes gets mad, but luckily he stays inside a lot and doesn't pay much attention to the weather."
Crowe and Red glared at each other in shock for a moment. Red was piecing it together, and Donnie was right. That strange rain would always appear when he did that dance. He wasn't sure whether to believe it or not yet, though. Crowe, on the other hand, refused to believe such a thing was true.
"Donnie, that's ridiculous!" The humanoid bird responded. "There's no way dancing of all things could affect the weather! One person's movements cannot possibly change humidity, wind, air pressure and the like!"
"No, it's real!" Donnie replied, a little taken back by Crowe's disbelief. "I'll show you right now!"
And with that, he slid his chair back and stood up, leaving the kitchen and heading outside. Donnie and Crowe exchanged questioning looks and followed, leaving their unfinished dinner behind. By the time they were outside, Donnie was already doing that bizarre, hunched-over kicking and flailing he called a 'dance'. Crowe sighed and crossed his feathery arms as he watched, while Red stood a little restlessly, simply desiring to finish his dinner. Just as Donnie had promised, the clouds thickened and darkened rather quickly, soon dropping a light shower of rain. Red hated getting his fur wet unless he was cleaning it, so he swiftly ducked back inside as the rain grew heavier, while Crowe retreated more calmly, keeping a perplexed eye on the sky.
"Guys!" Donnie called out, stopping his dance to watch his friends leave. "Whaddaya think?"
The other two were already inside, sheltered from the rain. Donnie gave a subtle shrug and ran after them, dripping wet as he entered the kitchen and sat back down for dinner with Red and Crowe. Red seemed rather lost for words, although it was hard to tell just how he felt without a visible facial expression. Crowe seemed surprised too, but then frowned and shook his feathery head. Being a very logical thinker, he never believed in the paranormal or supernatural. An exception, of course, was some of the phenomena surrounding June 19th, considering his experiences, but even then he was opposed to most of the superstitious views associated with it, and the drastic measures they entailed.
"It was just a well-timed coincidence." He insisted. "It was already cloudy when we sat down for dinner."
Donnie was actually quite unbothered by his friend's reaction, now. He barely knew of the incredible significance of his 'power', anyway.
Coming to terms with his young companion's supernatural talent, Red had advised Donnie to keep it a secret and use it sparingly, as he felt revealing such a phenomenon to an increasingly superstitious community could lead to trouble. Crowe, on the other hand, remained completely sceptical, refusing to believe something outrageous like a 'rain dance' would be possible- On any day other than June 19th, of course. Donnie's father, however, had the strangest reaction. He constantly tried to convince his son that his 'rain dance' was all in his head, yet at the same time tried to keep him from performing it whenever possible, as if he were aware of its power.
Ten years passed, and as a talking clock had once taught them, things will inevitably change with time. Donnie and Crowe were now adults, while Red had simply progressed further into adulthood. Red's appearance had barely changed at all, save for perhaps a slightly more aged look in his eyes. Crowe had been mature and intelligent since his childhood, so time had mostly allowed for him to physically catch up with his mental age, growing into a smart-dresser, handsome and sophisticated by any anthropomorphic bird's standards. He had even begun studying law and politics, in aspiration of one day being in a position of authority to correct some of the immoral practices of the local government. Donnie, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. He still dressed and behaved like the child he was a decade ago, continuing to wear blue overalls and letting his hair grow ridiculously long. Crowe and Red often worried for their friend, who rejected almost all adult responsibilities and mindsets in favour of arts and crafts sessions and kite-flying, among other child-like activities. Despite this, their friendship remained strong.
June 19th remained an inevitable day of each year. The horrors that came with it for those three were to be expected, and as horrid as it was each time, they always made it out in one piece together somehow. Leaving the house in an attempt to avoid any inanimate objects proved an unsuccessful practice, and contradictory to the advice given to Donnie by his father to stay home on that particular date.
Unfortunately, the practice of removing any children born on the 19th of June remained over this decade. Not long after superstitions surrounding that date arose generations ago, certain authority groups began taking away any newborns born on the day and supposedly putting them through numerous tests and observations in a special facility. Exactly where they were taken to was unknown, but it was somewhere down south, and they would eventually be let back into society once deemed safe and unaffected. Most of the time, anyway. The '19/6ers', as they were often dubbed, could spend any number of years of their lives in this place. If one showed any signs of being out of the ordinary, they would spend even longer there. A few 19/6ers never made it out, and one man was reported to have been let out only to die in an accident a week later. Of course, the majority of locals opposed this practice, especially Crowe. Even the fear of using '19' and '6' consecutively by some people annoyed him.
Very little was seen or heard of Donnie's 'rain dance' over the years. A mixture of both heeding the advice of his peers and a gradual loss of interest had led him to only perform it on very rare occasions. The subject of the frequent erratic weather patterns that had occurred all those years ago was brought up every now and then, but was less of a topic of interest and more of a peculiarity in local history.