Christmas Week Writing: Day 6

Why do younger siblings happen to good people? On Wintermorn.

Funnily enough, in this scene, Matilda and Sally are pretty much both based on me. I’m older enough than my little brother that was basically an adult when he was the overly excited about Christmas one. And, of course, I can still remember pretty clearly being the overly excited about Christmas one, exacerbated by the fact that I don’t sleep well at the best of times.

Incidentally, the best thing that ever happened when I was a kid was my family moving to a house big enough to have Christmas in the living room and the TV downstairs, so I could just go downstairs and watch TV until everyone else woke up.

Turns out there’s not a lot on at 5:00 am Christmas morning…

“Ugh,” Matilda groans, sensing the perpetually nomadic sleeper that is her sister crawling into bed beside her.

“Matilda,” Sally says. “Me and Count Bunnyescu can’t sleep. Can we sleep in your bed tonight?”

“Ugh,” Matilda groans again.

“Tomorrow’s Wintermorn,” Sally says. “And I’m really excited, Matilda. I can’t sleep.”

“What else is new?” Matilda mutters.

“Can we sleep with you, Matilda?” Sally asks.

“Fine. But if you can’t stop bouncing, you’re sleeping with Nolan And don’t kick me in the face when you wake up,” Matilda says.

“Okay,” Sally says, positioning herself under the covers.

“Thanks, Matilda,” Sally says. “I love you.”

“Yeah,” Matilda murmurs sheepishly. “I love you, too, Sally.”


“And I have no particularly strong negative emotions towards Count Bunnyescu.”

She expects the rest of the night to be a horrible, interminable saga of Sally bouncing around the bed excitedly and muttering to herself about WIntermorn. But when Matilda glances over to Sally, to see that she actually has drifting off to sleep. Once again, she’s somehow managed to get herself splayed across Matilda’s bed on an upside down diagonal, but she’s really, genuinely sleeping.

It’s a Wintermorn miracle!

Not long after, Matilda herself drifts off to sleep. Her blissful, peaceful long winter’s nap is, sadly, proven to be all too brief and fleeting thing.

“Matilda!” Sally shouts. Loudly. Too loudly for such an early hour. “Wake up!”

And Matilda is well and truly woken up. If the shouting hadn’t done it, the kicks to the face would have.

“It’s Wintermorn! It’s Wintermorn!”

Sally’s words are, as every, rhythmically punctuated by kicks to the face.

“I know it’s Wintermorn, Sally! Stop kicking me!”

“But it’s Wintermorn!” Sally says, in her excitement treating Matilda’s face like her own personal dancing stage. “Merry Wintermorn, Sally!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Matilda mutters. “Merry Wintermorn. Go bother Nolan.”

“Ahem,” Sally says.

“Merry Wintermorn, Count Bunnyescu. Go help Sally bother Nolan.”

Clutching Count Bunnyescu close, Sally clambers down from Matilda’s bed, managing to kick Matilda in the face a couple more times.

“Noooooooooooolan!” Sally shouts gleefully as she runs out into the hall. “Addy! Mom! Dad! Wake up! It’s Wintermorn! It’s Wintermorn!”

Matilda winces at the sound of Sally kicking Nolan’s door open echoing through the hallway.


“Gah!” Matilda hears her brother shout in alarm. “Bears! Wolves! Bear-wolves!”

“Nolan! It’s Wintermorn! It’s Wintermorn! Wake up! I want to see what Uncle Wintermorn brought me, and so does Count Bunnyescu!”

How, Matilda wonders, can something so small be so loud?

“Ugh,” Matilda groans once more, shoving her pillow over her face and wistfully wondering what life is like as an only child.

She’s just about to drift off back to sleep when she feels her shoulder being gently shaken by her mother.

“Come on, Matilda,” her mother says. “Time to get up for Wintermorn.”

“Just one more year,” Matilda replies, keeping her pillow over her face. “Wake me up next Wintermorn.”

“Matilda, honey,” her mother says. “Everyone else is up. Don’t keep us waiting.”

Matilda lifts her pillow off her face and cautiously eyes her mother.

“Will there be coffee?”

“Yes, dear. There will be coffee.”

“Right,” Matilda concedes. “Fifty-one more weeks.”

Now, if this one seems familiar, that’s because it is:

“Sally the Itinerant Sleeper” has turned into something of a running gag in this short scenes.

Reminder that I may lose power at some point today or tomorrow, so may not be able to finish my Christmas Week writing in time.

And another reminder to check out a preview of The Alchemist of Middlesbrooke here:

And, also, follow me here:

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