Red Birds

I was holding a device that I had somehow reconfigured such that when I pushed its button, it would cause a bird to slowly fly down from its perch over a reflecting pool, perform a series of graceful swoops and curves, touch the surface of the water, and finally return to its perch - after which it would dive down again and continuously repeat the pattern. Every time I pushed the button, it would cause another bird to appear, in a different shade of brilliant red, yellow, or orange. Each new bird would begin perched next to the previous bird, and would then begin to perform the same flight in the same pattern, but in just a slightly offset position. I began to push the button as rapidly as I could, until there were hundreds of birds. At first they were spread out in a continuous ribbon that flowed in a slow, shimmering loop. But after a while, they began to synchronize to each other such that they resembled a giant flickering smear that would start up at the perch and pour itself through the air above the reflecting pool.It was beautiful to watch, but somehow in the back of my mind I knew I was breaking a rule. My fears were confirmed when a crowd began to gather, and an old man in a raincoat curiously stepped close to the path of the birds. When the flickering red smear passed by him, they caught the edge of his coat and lifted him off the ground.