30.1 Silent Night

Jason did not know when or how the holiday had begun, if holiday was even the right word.  There was no gift giving and no meal associated with the day.  It was a simple thing.  A tradition, perhaps, celebrated throughout the country and even some parts of the Battlegrounds.

Once a year, for a period of twenty minutes, the lights went out.  That was all.  A quiet night with no light.  Families would gather, friends and lovers would stare into the sky in silence.  It was not perfect, of course.  There were those who could not turn off the light, even for so short a time, hospitals and other emergency centers, providers of critical services.  Naturally, there were also those who simply chose not to participate, though most were not so crass as to stay up late and leave their lights on out of spite.

This Silent Night was different for Jason.  He gazed upon the thousand thousand points of light, burning with quiet intensity above him.  There were so many details that he simply could not see under normal circumstances.  Colors and shapes… it was beautiful.  He had seen it before, but this time… he felt something.

He looked over at his friend and saw something on Hector’s face.  A quick mental review told him this was likely to be ‘wonder.’  Perhaps ‘awe.’  Rather than dwell on it, Jason simply returned his attention to the stars.

After a time, far too short, the city lights began to filter back and the sky lost its brilliance.  For a moment, just a moment, this saddened Jason.  Then he remembered, whether he could see it or not, the brilliant sky was still there, just waiting for him, for next year.

Untroubled by thoughts of danger or the suffering of those he loved, Jason smiled into the Silent Night.


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