December’s Guest Storyteller, Sherri Matthews
Sherri has been writing full-time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, she has been published in a variety of national magazines and two anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse visits regularly.
You can find Sherri’s links of interest at the end of this post.
Sarah says: I’m thrilled that Sherri has agreed to make a return visit to my blog as guest storyteller with a seasonal story to delight us all. Some of you might remember her Christmas-themed story Chocolate Umbrella from December 2014. This story received 54 likes and 79 comments, which was a fantastic response, considering my blog had about a quarter of the followers it does now! I’m guessing that Sherri brought along some of her fans with her, from her wonderful blog A View From The Summerhouse.
In June 2015, we met up for the first time and got on so well, we’re now firm friends and try to get together as regularly as our busy lives permit. We also have long telephone conversations with each other, as we’re both very talkative.
A Blue Coat for Christmas
Grey, angry waves smashed into the pier. A gust of sea air whipped Piper’s hair into a salty slap across her face. A short walk to the beach had taken longer than she had anticipated, but she was wearing her new coat, and nothing was going to keep her indoors today. Especially not babysitting her brother.
‘Look what I’ve found,’ Max shouted as he skipped across the sand.
The sight of her brother’s skinny legs poking out of his shorts made Piper laugh. “I told you to wear jeans. Your knees have turned purple with the cold!’
Max stopped, looked down at his knees, and shrugged. ‘I don’t care. See, I found this!’ Piper stared at the dead starfish in her brother’s wet hands as she pushed her hands into her pockets.
‘Can I bring it back to show Dad?’
‘Yeah, why not…think of the stories he’ll tell us about it,’ Piper said with a wink. ‘C’mon, it’s getting dark already and your legs might drop off if we don’t get back soon.’
They climbed the stairs leading up from the beach and walked along the promenade, the wind catching their breath. Piper made sure to take the long way back through the side streets, wanting as many people as possible to admire her in her coat.
When she had opened her present on Christmas Day, she couldn’t believe her eyes. It was just what she wanted, a blue, military style wool coat with brass buttons and red piping along the collar and sleeves. At twelve years old, all legs and no curves, she felt like a fashion icon in it. Heck, maybe even the up and coming new Twiggy.
Piper and Max watched cartoons and when their father came home, he made beans on toast while he drank beer and made them laugh at his funny story about the starfish and his hermit crab friends.
“I’ll be right back,” he whispered to Piper later as he kissed her forehead. “Keep an eye on your brother, I’ll be back in a jiffy…” Piper nodded with a half-smile, knowing it would be hours before he staggered in through the front door.
‘Nice coat,’ their mother said back home. ‘Surprised your father can afford such a thing…’ she trailed off. Piper didn’t know either, but she was happy prancing about the place in her beloved coat. One thing she did know: she wouldn’t breathe a word about her father’s late night visits to the pub.
© Sherri Matthews 2016
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