Slow days were not a thing at Joey Drew Studios. Everyone always had something to work on, or something they could start when they finished their task. And with Bendy now being here and being so adamant about things being just so the animators had even less time to relax. The music department was now more productive, as Boris and Alice often had some intuition about what kind of music a toon should have from a single script read. But it was summer and while an employee of Joey Drew’s work was never done, summer made everything creep by.
It was hot, more than hot. It was stifling and humid and the humidity made everyone irritable. Well, everyone except for the ink creatures. They weren’t made up of different organs and cells and all the other complexities that made up humans, so they didn’t really register hot or cold like humans did. Thus, they had a hard time understanding why everyone was in a bad mood, or why every fan that could be on in the building was.
The first day or so, it wasn’t so bad, the heat was noticeable but ignorable. But as the day passed into days, then a week, then weeks without reprieve the humans in the studio grew shorter and shorter fuses. The worst was the day it all came to a head. The sky was dark and overcast. But it sat there, heavy and oppressive, and the heat was just unbearable.
“No, no, no!” Sammy yelled at the orchestra for the upteenth time, “Not right! Do it again!”
“We’re performing the music exactly as you wrote it!” the conductor screamed back.
“Obviously no or we wouldn’t be wasting all this audio tape now would we?” Sammy shot back.
Alice and Boris watched on in helpless confusion as the argument escalated. Meanwhile Bendy was having some trouble of his own in the animation department.
“These frames are off,” he remarked off-handedly to one of the animators under him, tossing the sheets back to be redone.
“Oh really?” the animator asked.
Bendy, not enough used to the intricacies of human interaction yet, didn’t notice the challenge in the statement and so replied, “Yes, re-do them. We’re already behind on this cartoon, pick up the pace.”
“Oh yeah?” the animator shot back, “Well if you’re so great at animating, you and re-do these frames yourself!” they balled up the papers and lobbed them at Bendy. The demon, caught off-guard, fell back out of his chair trying to dodge the projectiles. That action appeared to incite the whole animation team, who began balling up their sheets and lobbing them at their unofficial boss. Soon enough Bendy was buried under a mountain of paper balls, a mountain of wasted time and money on the toon they’d been producing.
Bendy decided to get the heck out of dodge and retreated to Joey’s office. There, he saw Alice, Boris, and Henry also taking shelter from whatever insanity had appeared to have infected the rest of the staff.
“Joey!” Bendy exclaimed in a slightly out of breath fashion, “What’s goin’ on here? Everyone in the animation room’s gone absolute looney toons!”
“Same with Sammy and the orchestra,” Boris added.
“And the voice actors with the director,” Alice chimed in.
Joey and Henry merely looked at each other and sighed, “It’s hot out,” they said as if that were all the explanation needed.
“Your point?” Bendy replied, tone unimpressed.
“Y’see Bendy,” Henry knelt down so he was on the demon’s level, “Humans don’t do so well with certain temperature ranges, we don’t like it when it’s too hot, we don’t like it when it’s too cold. Normally we’d be fine with the temperature as it is, but today it’s also really humid, which makes it feel hotter than it actually is.”
“What’s humid?” Alice asked.
“Humid is when there’s water in the air that gets warmed by the sun, making it feel hotter to humans and animals. When humans get too hot, they feel irritable and when they’re really irritable they tend to snap at the littlest things.”
“What can we do to make everyone feel better?” Alice implored.
“Yeah, we needa get everybody back on track before they destroy the place!” Bendy added.
“Unfortunately,” Joey answered from behind his desk, “The only thing that would help would before for it to rain. And that cloud’s been sitting in the sky like that all morning. It would take a miracle to calm them down any other way. Our electricity bill’s through the roof as it is.”
“Rain?” Boris tilted his head to the side, “You mean like in the toon rainy day serenade?”
“Sort of,” Joey replied.
All at once from behind him came a loud boom. The toons jumped, Henry was startled but knew what it was and did not panic.
“What was that?” Boris whimpered, cowering behind Alice’s skirt. Alice, for her part, was holding tightly to Bendy who was holding her back Joey and Henry laughed at the scene, but the toons wouldn’t let the matter drop.
“Henry, Joey, what was that?” Bendy asked.
Joey sighed with relief, “Our salvation,” he opened the blinds on his window and showed the they sky had darkened to dusk and water was now pouring out of it in tiny droplets which spattered against the windowpane. “That, my dears, is a thunderstorm. It’s loud and bright and the rain comes down heavy, and right now everyone who works in the studio is currently enjoying getting soaked.”
Bendy, Alice, and boris stopped their huddle and rushed to the window to see. Sure enough, every member of Joey Drew Studios save Joey and Henry was out there embracing the deluge as it cooled them off. They danced around, splashed each other with the quickly forming puddles, raced around, slipped on the muddy ground but didn’t care as it meant they weren’t hot and irritable anymore. Joey and Henry looked at each other and shrugged, if you couldn’t beat them you might as well join them. They, sensibly enough, threw on the raincoats they’d brought and headed out the door. The ink creatures raced behind them.
At the open door under the overhang they watched the humans… frolick was the only word apt enough to describe it. They were having fun, and the toons wanted in. Cautiously, they stuck out a hand, letting the droplets cover it. It felt cool, it felt like the time they did Rainy Day Serenade. With great excitement they too raced out into the rain and began to play.
At first, everyone was so relieved at the break this rain brought from the oppressive heat of before and having so much fun that they didn’t notice. But soon enough they saw how their stars and co workers were beginning to melt. Humans, while porous, were immune to the effects of rain: solid and complex as they were. Their skin was mostly waterproof, so while the rain soaked them and refreshed them but didn’t do much else. Not the case for Bendy and company, their forms were comprised of ink and as the water covered them the ink began to dilute and run, breaking down their forms. But of course, the toons were having so much fun they didn’t even notice until they began to collapse. Immediately Joey, Henry, and Susie reacted. They rushed towards the ink creatures and gathered their plasmatic forms in their hands, trying to keep them together as they raced into the studio. All the other employees followed behind, anxious to see what would become of them.
The ink machine was fired up, and for once Sammy couldn’t find it in him to complain about the mess it was making as it whirred and churned. Ink was put back into their bodies via broken fountain pens, much like a blood transfusion, helping the black magic reform and rebuild them. Their faded color rejuvenated, their dripping bodies became solid, the ink that ran off in large rivulets was slowing, slowing, stopped. A collective sigh of relief filled the room. As aggravated as everyone had been earlier, the storm had cooled their heads and made them more rational. And the rational truth was that they enjoyed their coworkers and cared for them, worried for them. Slowly, their eyes fluttered open.
“Ugh,” Bendy put a hand to his head, “Wha’ happened?”
Alice groaned, “I haven’t felt this bad since we went on that ink binge for our movie.”
Boris did nothing but whimper in slight pain.
Slowly they were propped up so they could see everyone, still soaked from the rain. Joey, Henry, and Susie covered in diluted ink stains. Eyes were teary and so were smiles as they looked around the room. All at once the toons were jumped into a group hug, squeezed so tightly they almost popped.
“We were worried about you guys,” Henry sniffed.
“Why?” Bendy asked.
“Last thing I remember we were playing in the rain,” Alice said thoughtfully.
“No more rain for you guys,” Joey put his foot down, “Not for a very, very long time.”
But of course, the very next day the trio was bombarded by gifts of rain coats, boots, hats and umbrellas, so that they too could enjoy those breaks in the stifling weather.