‘Come as You Are’ by Phil Yeats

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to title the story “Dinner with Mrs. Claus.”

Today’s post is written by Phil Yeats. Last December, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/


Come as You Are

Phil Yeats


The invitation was odd: Dinner tonight, 6:30, come as you are – Mrs. Claus. Nothing else but an address and a cryptic postscript. ‘We know what you’re wearing’.

I didn’t know a Mrs. Claus, but the address was nearby, it was already 5:45, and I hadn’t started cooking. My jeans and a golf shirt like I wore to work every weekday shouldn’t cause any embarrassment.

I laced on my boots and donned my coat. I mean, I couldn’t venture forth into a December night without a coat and boots. Who would I meet, and what would they be wearing?

Come as you are reminded me of my first term at university, the only one I spent in a students’ residence. One Saturday morning, meddling colleagues intent on developing camaraderie in the dorm knocked on doors at six. They insisted everyone come as they were for breakfast. They enforced the edict by dragging everyone from bed and herding them to the dining room dressed as they were. The few early risers they caught in the showers arrived wearing only towels.

That was ten years ago, and the present situation was hardly comparable. But there was much to be curious about. Who was Mrs. Claus? Why did her invitation say come as you are? And the postscript had rather sinister implications.

Several questions. I loved a mystery. I hurried to the address.

The meal, red or white wine and an extensive buffet was great, but it lacked the mysteriousness I’d psyched myself up for. Mrs. Claus, as I guessed, was not her name. Most of the participants were people she knew, ones she’d invited days earlier. Only a few strangers like me had received the enigmatic last-minute invitations.

Our hostess, a young woman new to the neighbourhood, had chosen an unusual method to meet other young adults. The come as you are instruction was simply a tease, and the postscript an outright lie. Or was it? I departed two hours after I arrived, hoping it was a lie.


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/

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