Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to title the story “Dinner with Mrs. Claus.”
This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming early 2020. Watch for it!
Dinner with Mrs. Claus by Cathy MacKenzie
I set down my beer and picked up the remote, lowering the volume on the television. Had I imagined the thud at the front door? I listened for the doorbell. Nothing.
Another noise. As if someone kicked at the door.
I flicked on the outside light and peered out the window. A Mrs. Claus stood on the top step.
I opened the door. Nope, she wasn’t the real Mrs. Claus, for this one was too young. Her blonde hair curled around the white fur of the Santa hat as if she’d been wearing the hat for months. Snowflakes dotted the red of the hat. I eyed her svelte figure beneath the matching red coat.
“I’m making dinner tonight.” She smiled slightly but didn’t move as if waiting for an okay to enter the house.
I scanned the yard for a vehicle, barely seeing anything through the shower of snow. My car, parked in the driveway, would soon be unrecognizable as a vehicle. I shivered, wishing I had driven it into the garage. Where was her vehicle? I looked around again. No other vehicles in sight. Had she borrowed Santa’s sleigh? I listened for the grunting of reindeer—I’d heard they made those types of sounds.
“Well?” she said.
I shook my head at my silliness. And for ignoring the beautiful woman facing me. “Sorry.” I took three bags from her. “Come in.”
She kicked off her heavy boots and trudged to the kitchen as if she owned the place, setting the remaining two grocery bags on the counter. I added the ones I carried.
She removed her mid-length wool coat and handed it to me. “My hat stays. What about you? Where’s yours?”
My Santa hat was under the Christmas tree. “I’ll get it.”
On the way, I hung Mrs. Claus’ coat in the closet. I located my hat amongst the gaily wrapped gifts, positioned it on my head, and headed to the kitchen.
She had opened a bottle of sparkling wine. Rosé. “Here you go.” She held out a glass, one of the crystal glasses usually saved for special occasions. Was this one such occasion?
She eyed the cookbooks on the shelves, humming and hawing as if performing the eeny-meanie-catch-a-red-nosed-reindeer chant. “This one,” she announced, thrusting out Special Pastas for Special Times. “What do you think?”
“Fine by me. You’re the boss.”
She giggled. “I am, aren’t I?” She tilted her glass to lips as red as Rudolph’s nose. Her eyes sparkled like tree lights.
I sat on the stool and watched her bustle around the kitchen, taking this pot and that pot, selecting one spice and then another, pausing occasionally to sip the wine. The aroma of garlic soon permeated the room. With a spatula, she flipped the shrimp and scallops as if she were a well-trained chef. Water soon boiled.
“Want me to add the pasta?” I asked, feeling guilty.
“Nope, I’m good. You relax.”
I adjusted my hat. “Okay, but I need to remove my hat. This heat is getting to me.” Was the wine or the stove making me sweat? Perhaps it was the company.
Mrs. Claus examined my face. I thought she was going to reach out and touch it at one point. “I’m getting a bit hot, too, truth be known.”
“So, we’re done?”
She quickly faced the stove. “Done?” Her voice faltered. “Done…as in dinner?”
“Done as in the Christmas charade, Missus Claus.”
Her shoulders relaxed, and she glanced at me.
My burden lifted, too. I hadn’t realized I’d been so uptight.
“Okay, Mister Claus. Yes, we are done.” She pointed to the ceiling light, which hung low over the kitchen island, and beckoned with her little finger. “Come, give me a kiss.”
I looked up. Mistletoe. Where had that come from?
Mavis and I had a simple Christmas tradition in our household. We never ignored mistletoe. After dinner, I planned to propose another. No more silly tiffs. My bed—our bed—had been cold and empty the previous night.
The Spot Writers—Our Members:
Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/
Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/
Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com
Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com