It's your birthday today and the thunder woke you up. It's crawling against the rows of five-story buildings to the west. It's drunk and crazy and its throat is wretched from a million years of screaming. It pauses at the corner and roars up at your window from the street. It cries low, with its chin tucked into it's barrelling chest. Mourning for a million years of screaming. It howls for it's own voice only. The lightning brings the white morning sky onto the ceiling and you get up to open the window for the smell of the rain. You get the smell of the humid street and the sounds of the washing tide of traffic. And then the rain comes in a second, and falls all at once, and the trees look weary and less grateful than you think they should.

Across the street a boy in a dark green t-shirt is running. His thin legs deceptively propel him hard into a doorway. He crouches on the stoop and looks at the sky. The rain has given him dark green epaulettes. You watch him through the sheets of clear water, noticing something grand and elegant about him as he slowly rises to his feet in the alcove. A great, green-cloaked king in a stained glass arch. He pulls his backpack onto his shoulders, hooks his thumbs beneath the straps, and leaps out into the rain. He springs past the homeless thunder that moans on the street corner and runs headfirst into the wind that spikes his golden hair into a crown.