Mellissa lifted her head and began to sing. Her voice was clear and sweet, not beautiful, but full on this cold night. It carried itself in a tufted cloud up the porch steps, through the cracks around the door and into the straining ears of Mary Atkins, who stood motionless behind dusty lace curtains. Several layers of old clothes kept the cold from her frail body, and as the song wrapped itself around her, she loosened her grip on the shawl held close around her hunched shoulders.
Mellissa finished the song. She closed her eyes, a faint smile curling her lips. Warmth formed around her heart and spread throughout her body. Her cheeks flushed rose petal pink in the moonlight.
Stacy watched Mellissa, embarrassed by the rush of emotion for her little sister that formed a lump in her throat. She stepped through the gate and walked gingerly up the icy walkway. At Mellissa’s side, she reached for her sister’s frosty mitten and squeezed. “It came upon the midnight clear,” Stacy sang, her rich voice filled the air.