The sun came out, and it was fabulous.
It was a horrible, grey day, the kind of day for a funeral or the death of a monarch. The clouds were mean motherfuckers, bad dudes to cross. They banded together like lads on tour and floated around on the breeze bringing misery to the people on the ground below them.
And when the sun came out, the clouds didn’t like that – not one little bit.
But the sun didn’t care. The sun was just the sun, and that’s what he liked to say to them. “I can’t change who I am,” he said. “Just like how you can’t change what you are.”
“But we can change what we are,” the clouds said, and they rumbled and thundered and changed from being white and whispy to being big, black and badder than a cat with a bird in its mouth. They opened themselves up and rained down and down on the people below them. They opened umbrellas and turned on their windscreen wipers, but the rain was relentless and unsentimental.
“Stop it!” shouted the sun. “You guys are horrible. Why did you ruin everyone’s day like that?”
“We’re clouds,” they replied. “We can’t change who we are. And you can’t change who you are.”
“But I’ve always been gay,” the sun replied. “It’s how I was born, way back WHEN WAS THE SUN FORMED?
“Preposterous,” the clouds growled. “What about the moon? She’s beautiful. Check out the craters on that. Look at her MOON THING. She has a really nice MOON THING.”
“I’m not into MOON THINGS,” the sun said. “She’s not my type.”
“Phwoar,” one of the younger clouds said, floating himself into the shape of a crudely-drawn penis. “I’d love to stick it up her dark side.”
The other clouds shot him a dirty look and whispered, “Shut up, Terry,” in a rustling susurrus. Then they looked at the sun again. “What do you mean? How is she not your type?”
“She’s a she,” said the sun. “I’ve always had a thing for other stars.”
“That’s not natural,” the clouds replied.
“Of course it’s natural,” the sun said. “I’m the sun. I’m the most natural thing there is.”
The clouds had no retort to this. They knew that the sun was right, and that BECAUSE OF SCIENCE the earth would have no atmosphere and the clouds themselves would not exist. But they still weren’t happy about it.
“I thought you’d understand,” the sun said. “After all, you’re clouds. Some of you are black and some of you are white. Some of you are big and some of you are small.”
“We’re different,” the clouds said. “But we’re not perverse. We’re not like you. We don’t want you around here anymore.”
The sun was sad, and it was glad when the planet’s spin took the clouds away and gave him a different view of a different country with different people living differently. Meanwhile, the clouds were having a meeting, and they gathered together and rained and rained and rained while they tried to decide what they ought to do.
The following day, after the earth had completed its rotation, the sun found itself face to face with the clouds again. The sun was still fabulous, but the clouds were grey and angry. They were clumped closely together, thundering and rumbling loudly, their voices a harmony of dissent like marching Nazis outside a mosque. Terry was holding a little sign that said, “Down with this sort of thing.”
The thundering got louder and the heavens opened, and the people down below got out their umbrellas again. But if the clouds hoped to stop the sun from shining, they were in for a disappointment. The sun was proud to be who he was, so he shone even brighter than ever.
Then they heard the people on the ground. They were laughing and clapping and pointing at the sky. They were whistling and giving balloons to their children and dancing in the street as they looked up at the clouds and the sun on the other side of them.
They were clapping because the sun’s light was piercing through the clouds and the rain was refracting it and bending it into the shape of a double rainbow.
The clouds growled and turned back to the sun. “Stop it,” they demanded. “Stop what you’re doing at once.”
“I can’t,” the sun replied. “I’m not doing anything. I’m just being myself. I can’t help it if you don’t like the way that you perceive me.”
The clouds rumbled again, but the rain slowed to a stop and melted away down the drains and into the rivers. The rotation of the earth took the clouds and the people away again, and the sun was sad to see them go.
The people on the ground looked up at the clouds, which stuck around into the night and the following morning. They shook their fists at them.
“I wish those bloody clouds would disappear,” the people said.