Christmas Ceasefire Part 4: An OWS Round Robin
We hope you haven’t missed a single part since this story is almost finished. Today’s segment is brought to you by Marissa Sladek, one of our behind the scenes team members penning her first words beyond a book review here for your enjoyment today. We pick up where Nancy left off last week:
She sent her thanks out to whoever or whatever might be listening. She didn’t believe in one particular God or religion but, when all was said and done, she wanted to believe there was still love and light in the world and tonight it guided her to this place.
Kira bent over the sleeping Sean, kissed his brow and whispered, “Merry Christmas.”
Kira foraged through the supplies that had lined the walls. “Ugh!” She gasped as a cockroach scurried over her foot. She found a canned ham, canned potatoes, various canned vegetables, a box of powdered milk, and a few gallons of water within the mix of foods that had been left behind. Kira had this odd sense that there was a force telling her to celebrate despite the chaos that had been going on for years.
At that moment, Sean groaned in his sleep. Running to check on him, Kira tripped over a locked box on the floor. How did I not see this sooner?
Kira’s first thought was to check on Sean and make sure he showed no signs of infection. After she checked on him, she wanted to see what was in the box. Kissing his forehead again, Kira made sure that there were no signs of fever, and thankfully there wasn’t.
Since Sean continued snoring softly in the makeshift bed, Kira turned her attention to the mysterious box that she found. She hoped to find some more antibiotics to help Sean with his injuries.
Kira fuddled around with the lock trying to pick it since she didn’t know where the key was. “What is this?” Kira gasped out loud. She wasn’t sure what the item was. This thing—green, prickly, and pointed with a brown base to it—was unlike anything she had ever seen before. There were shiny balls all over the tree and a star on the top.
Kira hoped to start cooking a meal, a real meal, and not the MREs that they had gotten used to eating sparsely while in the throes of battle since she found an ample supply of food. After searching for a source to heat their new-found food, Kira realized that they were destined to dine on cold canned ham, canned potatoes, canned vegetables, and canned fruit. They would have to make the best of things and be grateful for what they had, Kira thought to herself.
“Uhhhh.” Sean moaned softly as he was waking up from the pain from his injuries.
Running over to his side, Kira sat by him and she shared with him the news of all the food, drinks, and finally the odd green bobble with golden balls and a star adoring it.
Sean told he had heard of this thing, and those in the past had call them “trees.” Their landscape had changed so much because of the war that he hadn’t seen one up close, but he had come across one in a book as a child. Both Kira and Sean were puzzled as to the adornments on the tree, however. Neither could figure out why the tree had golden balls all over and a shiny star on top but felt it was a sign to celebrate the twenty-four-hour cease fire. They set it up on the floor to adorn the chilly concrete grey slab under their feet.
There was an eerie, calm feeling that swept over both Sean and Kira as they ate the cold ham in a can, potatoes, canned corn, and fruits. This was the longest Kira had been alone with Sean since they had been assigned to the same unit six months ago, and Kira wondered what would happen to them tomorrow after the cease fire would end. They would have to figure out how to safely find a way to get Sean to a medic unit to properly take care of his injuries. Her mind sorted through the many ways to confess her feelings now that they were alone and Sean was awake. How could Kira confess her love for Sean, if at all? She worried and wondered if he felt the same way. She glanced at him absent-mindedly and hoped he shared the same feelings.
Perhaps there was a bit of magic at work that brought them together and alone for this Christmas day. Although Christmas had been outlawed decades ago by the Supreme Emperor, maybe there was a bigger force out there helping to bring the Christmas spirit back to the soldiers and all those who had been home not fighting in the great war. Kira had an odd sense of calm that somehow everything would be ok. She felt that somehow, she and Sean would be ok, that he would make it through the night, he would overcome his injuries, and there would be peace throughout the land on December 26th.
After being in battle for thirty-six hours straight, Kira’s eyes became heavy. How could she rest knowing tomorrow she would have to find a way out of their refuge and back to the fighting? All that drifted out of her mind as she curled up next to Sean’s broad shoulder and fell fast asleep.
Softly snoring away, the night passed for both Sean and Kira. While they were sleeping, something that couldn’t be explained occurred in the locked shelter. Boxes wrapped in glorious red and greens appeared under the tree that they had put on the floor. Perhaps the magical force Kira believed in made itself known today. There weren’t just boxes of red and green; there were plates filled with warm food and bottles of cold drinks left for both Sean and Kira. One special box labeled Sean sat front and center in the sea of packages.Perhaps the magical force Kira believed in made itself known today. #Christmasstory @tiredmommyof4 #ourwriteside #shortstory #roundrobin #amreading Click To Tweet
Stay tuned for our conclusion from Elizabeth Abel next week!