The fair-haired, tanned lady was sure that she had woken earlier than usual this morning. Her alarm hadn’t gone off, and it was still quite dark outside. It was going to be dawn soon, and the first grey glimpses of light peeked through the gap in the bedroom curtains.
Something wasn’t right. It was that feeling you get when you wake up from an unnerving dream, only to realise a few moments later that everything is okay, you are safe, and the world is as it should be. But only this time it wasn’t. She wrapped her sheet around her, suddenly feeling freezing cold, the coolest she had been since moving from Alaska where the winters had been incredibly harsh.
She couldn’t hear the air conditioning. You got used to hearing that familiar hum when you lived in the heat of Stovepipe, California. That didn’t explain the temperature though. If the air conditioning was broken, why was she so very, very cold?
It was getting lighter now; the digital clock showed the time as 06:19. Brightness shone into the room. The woman opened her curtains, expecting to see the familiar clear, blue sky and dry, dusty desert spotted with cacti and creosote bushes.
Gasping, she took a step back. Thick, beautiful, symmetrical flakes fell from the sky. The desert view outside her window had been replaced by a vast blanket of whiteness.
It was snowing; snowing in Death Valley, one of the hottest places on the planet.