When I wake, there’s snow on the skylight.
The air is cold. I push off my blankets and find the sweater I dropped on the floor before bed last night. It isn’t often cold in the bunkers. Even when the wind howls outside and the ice climbs up over the skylight, blocking our view of the sun, we’re generally warm.
Living underground has a few advantages.
The snow dulls the light filtering through the glass. Snow is a rarity, a treasure, and I wake a few of the other girls in my dorm and climb onto one of the beds to get a better look. A hundred and fifty people live below ground with us, but we only have three skylights, one in each of the rooms. The light isn’t good, especially on days when sand blows across the reinforced glass. Or it snows. But we have our candles, a few lanterns, and a fire in each of the rooms. We’ve gotten used to dim lights.
One of the youngest girls can’t get close enough to see. I lift her up, letting her place her hand against the glass and giggle at the cold seeping through. None of the younger ones have been outside. They used to send foraging parties into the burned-out cities, the blackened buildings, but they don’t anymore. Outside, the wind is burnt, the sky is ash and dust, and the ground is scorched. Even in the cities, there’s nothing left to find.
By now, even the snow is better enjoyed from underneath it.