The Fifteen Minute Novel is a novel written fifteen minutes at a time with each week day’s section starting with the sentence from the previous day. At least it is attempting to be a novel. For now I am just aiming at one continuous story, worked on for fifteen minutes each day. Started Friday January 1st, 2021 (in case you want to search for the beginning. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. It could be good, or it could be a mess. We’ll have to see. For now, here is today’s fifteen minutes.
Day 37: “I clearly didn’t give my housekeeper enough credit.”
“I clearly didn’t give my housekeeper enough credit.” James thought of the ease with which Sarah took care of his house. Everything was always in its place and he never had to worry. He never gave it a thought a she always looked unruffled. He had officially been on his own, away from his minders for only a day and was already exhausted from putting together his bed and attempting to feed himself.
James gathered up the discarded packaging and took it to the kitchen. He took the rest of his purchases out of the trash can and put the trash inside. He knew somewhere in the purchases he had garbage bags but wasn’t in the mood to locate them. Hunger drove him to the kitchen and he took one of the frozen meals out of the freezer without looking at it. He opened it, poked holes in the plastic as directed and put it into the microwave.
As his dinner cooked, James continued opening and settling his purchases and by the time the microwave dinged, he felt a little more settled. He sat down at the table with a plastic fork and knife and attacked what the packaging called turkey with gravy and vegetable medley. The turkey tasted of nothing and the gravy mostly tasted of salt. In the vegetable medley he could see cauliflower, broccoli and green beans but they all tasted more or less the same, over boiled and bland. They mushed into paste with one bite. Still he was hungry enough to eat them and felt a little bit better after he did.
With his belly full, James took one of the bin bags out of the box, emptied the trash out of the trash can and into the bag, placed the bag in the can and added the now empty microwaveable dinner packaging. James looked at his watch. It was now seven pm. He had eaten, accomplished all of his set tasks and was not tired.
“Reading it is,” he said to himself. It felt strange to have no set task before him. He was accustomed to rising and running head first into his day and only stopping when it was time to lay back down to sleep. To be at loose ends felt strange and more than anything else made him feel untethered. He tried shrugging off the feeling and went to his stack of reading material. The combined collection from the grocery store and garage gave him quite a number of options. Feeling fidgety, James reached for the magazines first as they contained shorter articles and he figured he could focus more on them. He flopped out on the couch, enjoying his new slip cover as he leaned back. It smelled vaguely of the plastic pacakaging but the plastic scent overpowered the faint odor of smoke that came from the couch beforehand so he considered in an improvement.
He made it through one magazine and started in on another. By the time he flipped through all of the articles that interested him, James felt settled enough to reach for a book. The paperback was a spy thriller and James found himself less enthused by the adventures of the spy than usual. When someone started shooting at the dashing hero, James had to put the book down. Luckily by then, it was late enough that James thought he might be able to convince his brain to shut down for the night and sleep. He double checked the locks on the doors, turned out the lights and moved through the darkened apartment to the bedroom. There he turned on his light, stripped down to his shorts and set his clothing out of the way. Again the only place he knew he wouldn’t trip over it was the closet so into the closet his discarded clothing went. Once certain he wouldn’t trip over anything should nature call in the middle of the night, James turned out the light and crawled into his freshly made bed. The sheets smelled new and strangely industrial.