On the screen, snow fell. Fat white flakes drifted down from a slate gray sky to carpet the world in white. It was a pretty scene, as familiar to Jessica as Santa Clause, and just as real.
She turned away from the screen, to glance out her front window. Through the gauzy curtains she could see her front yard. It was a vast expanse of sand, raked into zen-like patterns, adorned with ornamental stones here and there.
When Jessica was very young, there had been trees and grass. No more. The trees - tall, slim pines - had been infested by some kind of beetle. They had been cut down and hauled away. The grass had simply withered and died due to drought and heat.
There won’t be any white Christmases here, thought Jessica. It was late December and the temperature was almost eighty degrees.
The only place she saw snow these days was on the television. During the holiday season, one of the channels ran the Snowfall video on an endless loop. It had become more popular than the fireplace video in recent decades, mostly among older viewers, nostalgic for the world that had been.
Like me, thought Jessica, wearily.
She sighed and reached for the remote, shut off the television. Sitting in her silent living room, Jessica stared out the window, at the arid landscape beyond the glass, and dreamed of snow.