2012 Totem Head Story Contest Finalist:"The Weatherman" By Nate Curtis, 11 years old, Nebraska.
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2012 Contest Finalist


The Weatherman
Written By:   Nate Curtis, 11 years old, Nebraska.

So there I was, watching the news covering the same story for the past month, about how the weather hasn’t changed for a long time and how we are suffering from a drought. I decided to go see if my friend Leo wanted to walk in the woods, one of our favorite pastimes. So I got my bike and sped off towards his house. When I arrived I saw Leo looking out of his window.

He quickly noticed me and opened the window. "I can’t hang out today." He shouted.

"Why not?" I replied.

He smiled and chuckled and then said "Well ah.... let’s just say I won’t be going to the grocery store for a while."

I took a moment to imagine what had happened and knowing Leo, it would have been absolute mayhem.

I then said "Oh well. I guess I’ll see you later." Depending on how long later is, I thought. I decided that I would go alone. I got on my bike and I was off. I couldn’t stop thinking about the whole situation with the weather. Normally my town had the most variety in weather I’ve ever known, but lately it’s been the same hot and sticky weather. It puzzled my mind, but I decided to drop the topic because I had arrived at the forest. There were two paths I could take. I have only gone down one of the paths. I know it like the back of my hand, but I wanted to try the other one so I could show it to Leo as a surprise.

So I turned left to go down the alternate path. To my surprise, I saw a warning sign with red spray paint covering the bottom words. All I could make out was: Warning: Dangerous       in area.

Why would anybody cover a word?, I thought. Somebody could get really hurt! I decided to do a public service and try to scratch out the paint. I scavenged for the sharpest stick I could find and got to work. As I was scratching off the paint, I heard an ominous growl. Out from the bushes emerged a big, black, bear. Animals! I thought. The painted word was animals.

I stood frozen in fear. I knew how bears have been known to severely injure or even kill people when hostile. I knew running was a bad idea but what choice did I have? It was either get my face clawed off or run at the risk of it. I quickly decided that fleeing was best. So I took off as fast as I could in the opposite direction. Behind me I heard grunts and rapid footsteps. The bear was chasing me! My mind was frantic. While I ran, I searched for a way to lose the bear. Suddenly, I saw a medium sized hole. I quickly slid into it and noticed that it led into a tunnel. I entered the tunnel. It was too small for the bear. The bear saw me enter and was trying to reach its arm through and claw me but I was too far away. After a few minutes the bear finally lost interest. I let out a sigh of relief. That was probably one of the most terrorizing moments of my life. I took a breath and started to let my eyes adjust to the inside of the tunnel. Something hard smashed the back of my head. My vision was blurry and then, I blacked out.

When I woke up, I was in a small room filled with notebooks and pencils. "Where am I?" I said dazed and confused.

"You’re in the Weather Room." a weak and old voice replied.

"The Weather Room...? What’s th-" I stopped. I was not alone.

"Who are you?" I asked timidly. "Show yourself."

An old man appeared from the shadows. He wore a long white robe with his grey beard at his waist.

"You should not be here." He said sternly. "But I am glad you are."

"Ow... my head hurts. What happened?"

"I hit you."

"Who are you?"

"I am The Weatherman. Who is it who enters my home?" He said weakly. I gulped.

"Um... C-Cody Miles, sir." I uttered at a volume so low I doubted he heard it. But he did.

"Cody....Miles." He said slowly, testing it out. "A fine name for a new Weatherman."

I was shocked. Was he forcing me to be a Weatherman?

"Sir, I um.. don’t want to be a weatherman. I want to be a baseball player when I grow up."

"I don’t think you understand." The old man said. "I’m not an ordinary weatherman. They tell what the weather will be on a certain day. I control the weather."

"What?" I said doubtfully. "No… that’s impossible. Weather is created when-"

"-I press a button." He interrupted. I didn’t know what to do. The old man could not be convinced.

"Well, you sure are doing a good job. My city’s in the middle of a drought. I said sarcastically. Show me how you change it."

"I can’t. I am too weak and old. This is why I have been waiting for a new Weatherman. You must become this area’s weatherman. You are the first person in a century to discover this place. The last person was me. Your town’s survival depends on you." I was just speechless. I didn’t know if this was real or some kind of trick.

"You said there are other ones for different areas. Do they need new Weathermen?" I asked.

"Most of them yes." the Weatherman answered. "But the neighboring area just received a new one. I believe his name is Leonardo. He is about your age."

"Leo? No, that’s impossible. He has been grounded. He can’t leave his house."

The old man looked surprised. "So you know him?"

"Yes, he is my best friend."

"Well I’m afraid his grounding is a ruse." He replied. "His family is preparing to move."

I was left feeling sad and betrayed. But it was a big secret I guess. I gave in. "Ok. Show me what I need to do". The Weatherman looked satisfied. He held out a circular device. It appeared to have four sections, each with three buttons. "Each section represents a weather." He explained. "The three buttons for each section represent how severe the weather will be. For example, for the snow weather there is a button for light snow that will melt away, and there is a button for a blizzard. You must be careful."

"Why would I need to use dangerous weather?" I asked.

"In case the people of this town deserve it." He answered grimly. "They must be punished for bad actions."

I looked around. "Will I have to stay here?" I inquired.

The Weatherman looked suddenly melancholy. "I had no home when I became the Weatherman so I decided to spend my days here."

I felt bad for him. "Oh. I’m sorry."

The old man perked up. "Don’t be." He said "You have been given a great responsibility. Use it well." He advised. Then he led me to the exit. "I wish you the best of luck." He said.

"What will you do?" I asked.

"I will remain in my home for the rest of my days." He said without emotion.

"One last thing Cody…"

"Yes?"

"Do not speak to Leonardo about any of this. Act like you don’t know anything. Being a Weatherman is a tremendous secret."

"Alright. I understand." I was disappointed but I had no choice.

"Goodbye Weatherman." I called to him.

"Farewell Cody."

I walked as quietly as I could back to my bike, hoping I wouldn’t attract another bear. I made it alright. On the ride home I knew just what to do. When I got home I parked my bike and ran upstairs to my room. "Time to see if this thing works." I said to myself. I pressed the middle button in the "rain" section and sure enough, it was pouring outside the next second.

"Cody!" My mom called. "It’s raining outside!"

Relieved that it worked, I called back "I know. Isn’t it great?"

"It’s a miracle!" She replied.

"No mom, it’s just the weather."




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