The gray, nebulous cumulonimbi rolled in as the marching band’s rhythm slowed to a halt and their pitch down-shifted accordingly. Their music dissolved into silence. A cool breath of wind rustled the leaves of the trees and branches knocked together like antlers. The darkening sky answered with a chuckling thunder.
A dull chorus of whispers and murmurs seeped out of the audience on the hill.
Then, actors on stilts scuttled out from behind the school bus at the center of it all. They wore grotesque, papier-mâché masks larger than their own torsos. The masks were covered in boils and discolored flesh. The actors hunched away from the sky with their hands held up, covering their heads in a display of fear.
The man with the French accent took up his squeezebox and played a dissonant chord while the boy with Down’s syndrome hopped on one leg, then the other, back and forth, with one finger pointing to the sky and one making a popping sound in his cheek.
When the rain began, the crowd scattered until all that remained was trampled grass.