Jessica looked out the window of the safe house. The sky was black and ash fell, covering the ground with a thick coat of soot. Any sign of it being Christmas Eve had been destroyed in the nuclear holocaust.
The others in the safe house were huddled together trying to keep warm as far from the window and door as they could be to protect themselves from possible radiation. Jessica didn't know what radiation was or cared about it.
"Dear Santa, For Christmas, I only want one night of snow," Jessica wrote then put the letter under her pillow and fell asleep.
When she awoke, everyone was staring out the window. "What's going on?" she asked her mother.
"Look," she answered as her father lifted her up over the crowd. The falling ash was mixed with white. It was snowing!
"Thank you Santa!" she whispered.
The group made a small feast from the supplies and sang Christmas carols then an older man recited "The Night Before Christmas." For a few hours, they shared holiday cheer and forgot about the horrific atrocities in the world outside; there would be time enough for that tomorrow.
© December 19, 2010