Christmas At The End Of The World, Part Two

About five years after the war, people started to have fun again. They decided to bring back Christmas.

Groups of boys roamed the countryside, and returned with robots with gnashing metal teeth. They tore out their electric innards, and strung them on the wall. Ragged pieces of dead trees sat in the corner of smelly living rooms, the carapaces of giant cockroaches painted candy red with scavenged nail varnish acting as baubles. Snipped down shredded barbed wire made perfect tinsel. 

The hunters risked life and limb for Christmas dinner, fighting off rats as big as horses for a deer with three eyes. They slaughtered bands of radioactive mutants to the point of genocide for the last remaining cans of tinned vegetables. 

A sludgy coating of snow covered the ground anyway, so when they woke up on what they decided was December 25th it was a guaranteed white Christmas. The children slid down the grey bank of the slag heaps on the breast plates of long ruined machines. The wolves that usually picked off one or two a week hid in the shadows, scared off by the singing of hymns, written in books scavenged from burnt out churches. 

Everyone declared it was the best Christmas they ever had. For a lot of them this was the first one anyway. They tore at giant legs of nuclear deer, and laughed. Outside the last working robots hung from the a blown out lamppost, a stitched together Santa suit covering the bullet holes and the tools of butchery, its circuits slowly fading out in red and green flashes.